VA reverses decision to redistribute homeless veterans funds

VA reverses decision to redistribute homeless veterans funds

VA reverses decision to redistribute homeless veterans funds

The Department of Veterans Affairs appears to be backtracking on its divisive plan to reallocate almost a half-billion dollars from a successful program to reduce homelessness among former military personnel, bowing to pressure from lawmakers and advocacy groups who criticized the effort as cruel and counterproductive.

At a time when Republicans in Congress are working on passing legislation that would add $1.5 TRILLION dollars to the deficit, this decision is not just immoral, it is inhumane.

VA Secretary David Shulkin clarified Wednesday that the homeless program is not going anywhere.

And even on a financial level, it is pennywise and pound foolish.

"There will be absolutely no change in the funding to support our homeless program". But honestly, who can really trust this administration.

Estimates are that there are still 40,000 homeless veterans on the streets today. We still have a lot of work to do. The move comes after a joint program announced with the Housing and Urban Development Department toured at the end of November. On Dec. 6, HUD disclosed that the rate of veteran homelessness increased by two percent in 2016, marking the first uptick in almost a decade.

"I don't understand why you are pulling the rug out", said Elisha Harig-Blaine of the National League of Cities. All 14 members signed a strongly worded letter, dated November 7, urging VA to reconsider its decision - a rare demonstration of bipartisan unity.

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., a member of the veterans' affairs subcommittee, said the move was a "new low" and "especially callous and perplexing".

"While some may think Washington bureaucrats are more qualified to make decisions about local VA issues than local VA leaders, we wholeheartedly disagree", Cashour said, according to The Washington Post. He had been seeking funds for 100 HUD-VASH vouchers but was able to secure only 50.