HUD uses the Point in Time Count (PIT) which is a once a year survey of homeless persons, which is then statistically manipulated to reflect a number of additional influences. The numbers quoted in this article are actual, real live Veterans who have reached out to Veterans Administrations facilities throughout NC in the past fiscal year. They have actual files at VA.
Furthermore, there is considerable evidence to support the effectiveness of the peer-to-peer model which allows Veterans to successfully reintegrate into society at a rate which is 2-3 times greater than standard homeless programming.
The model used to develop the Veterans Life Center project is based upon 35+ years of successful Veterans treatment and reintegration work done by "the Gold Standard of Veterans programming" at the Veterans Village of San Diego. Furthermore, there are 23 "BURR Initiative" VA sites throughout the nation, which utilize the domiciliary, transitional housing model to assist returning Veterans prior to entry into HUD-VASH and "housing first" programs. The model in development for the Veterans Life Center incorporates the full spectrum of existing State and Federal Veterans programming to assist our most affected returning Veterans in dealing with the aftereffects of bearing the burdens of our freedoms these past 12 years.
Overlooked in "Downtowner"s comments has been the year after year rise in Veterans homelessness throughout NC - indicated in the chart at the beginning of the article. Advocacy of the existing, dysfunctional model indicates a vested interest in the status quo, not an objective look at existing resources and functional models throughout the nation. While Housing First has been proven to save taxpayers money in dealing with chronically homeless wards of the state, the Veterans Life Center model has been designed to return Veterans to self reliance, so that they may enjoy the benefits of the society they sacrificed so much to protect. Apples and peppers, "Downtowner", and hollow words from one of the protected with a roof over their head.
Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
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