It took me a while to figure this out but formerly homeless veterans with VASH housing vouchers do not count in the PIT counts of homeless veterans. They don't count because they are in permanent housing and PIT veteran homeless counts include ONLY unsheltered veterans or veterans living in temporary housing.
I thought it would be instructive to go back to January 2019 and capture the number of VASH vouchers in USE as of January 31 and compare that to the count of homeless veterans by state.
The graph and table I created is pasted below and demonstrate that a "Housing FIrst" approach has significantly reduced the number of homeless veterans in every state in the country.
- In EVERY state (and in the nation) the number of VASH vouchers in use (by formerly homeless veterans) in January 2019 exceeded the number of remaining homeless veterans.
- Nationally if the 73,877 VASH vouchers in use in January 2019 were added to the 2019 PIT total homeless veteran count of 37,081 the total of homeless veterans (including previously homeless veterans who now have VASH vouchers) would jump to 110,958.
- This means that the 73,877 VASH vouchers helped reduce the total count of homeless veterans (including previously homeless veterans) by 67%. [The graph below illustrates this point].
- This leaves only 33% (37,081 of 110,958) of total homeless veteran's (including previously homeless veterans) permanent housing needs UNMET.
- That 33% unmet need percentage for homeless veterans would be even LOWER if the full allocation of 97,576 allocation of VASH vouchers as of Dec 2018 were in use (23,699 allocated VASH vouchers were NOT in use as of January 2019) AND would be even lower if the any day now allocation of 5,000 FY 2019 VASH vouchers were also in use.
- In contrast to homeless veterans, only 25% of very low income renter households had rental assistance; this means that 75% of the housing need for all low income rental households is UNMET vs 33% for homeless veterans.
Originally created and posted on the Oregon Housing Blog.