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What is the True Cost of Reducing Veterans Homelessness

July 19, 2016, 12:00 am

By Michael D. Ullman, Ph.D.

As communities push for achieving Functional Zero for veterans, it is important to understand and document the true total cost of achieving these reductions. Underreported in the media and undeniably an important factor is the tremendous increase in benefits compensation awarded by the VA since the campaign to end veteran homelessness began in 2009.  


The recent NHIP veterans compensation analysis reports that from 2010 to 2015 the number of veterans receiving disability compensation rose from 3.2 million to 4.2 million including over 250,000 Vietnam veterans receiving benefits for the first time.  In addition, the average annual disability compensation has risen from $9,400 in 2006 to $14,400 in 2015.  Currently, nearly 1 in 5 veterans receive service-connected disabilities.


In 2015 alone, approximately 95,000 veterans were newly awarded service-connected benefits at the 70% to 100% degree level.  A total of 313,000 veterans received first time benefits in 2015 totalling $3.62 billion,  The VA disability compensation  budget has more than doubled over the past six years from $50 billion to over $100 billion.

Problem with Funding Formulas

July 14, 2016, 12:00 am

From Dottie Kastigar, Community Council of St. Charles County, St. Peter's, MO

I formerly worked in St. Louis from 1990-2003. From 2003-present I have worked in the outer suburbs. St. Charles County currently has a population of 385,000, and is larger in population than the city of St. Louis (pop. 320,000).


The untold story is the migration of the poor from the inner city to the inner and outer suburbs, and the strain this has placed on a very limited infrastructure. All the funding continues to go to the inner cities,