CLEVELAND, Ohio – The good news, according to U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, is that the number of homeless veterans has decreased by nearly a third, nationally, since 2009.
The bad news is that there are still an estimated 47,725 homeless veterans on any given night, added Brown during a press conference today in East Cleveland.
Brown took the opportunity to outline details of the Veteran Housing Stability Act of 2015, which he has co-sponsored. The bill is designed to improve services to homeless veterans and provide greater access to permanent housing for vets, who represent about 12 percent of the adult homeless population in the U.S. The bill is currently before the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs.
The senator made his comments from the living room of a duplex designed to house six veterans. The duplex opened just last month as a result of a partnership between the Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry (LMM) and Cuyahoga Land Bank.
Creation of additional homes for veterans are being considered, according to Andrew Genszler, the Ministry president and CEO who attended the press conference. In an earlier statement Genszler noted, “LMM is committed to addressing long-standing problems with innovative solutions and the veteran’s housing partnership is a good example.”
Some 600 of the 4,000 men served annually at the LMM shelter on Lakeside Avenue are homeless veterans.
The local project is among many that have helped reduce veteran homelessness since 2009. But the problem persists, as detailed in a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development report to Congress earlier this year.
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