Pennsylvania getting more money to help homeless vets

    More veterans in Pennsylvania are expected to get housing assistance and support services this year.

    More veterans in Pennsylvania are expected to get housing assistance and support services this year, thanks to an extra $555,887 in rental vouchers recently announced by the federal government.

    The new award will assist 103 veterans experiencing homelessness in Lebanon, Harrisburg, Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Coatesville, Erie and Pittsburgh.

    With that, a total of 375 veterans experiencing homelessness in the Commonwealth will get about $2.3 million in assistance in 2014 through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program, according to a statement from HUD.

    The vouchers subsidize at least 70 percent of private housing rental costs for veterans, who also are assessed for clinical and supportive service needs at VA medical centers.

    Launched in 2008, the HUD-VASH program is part of the effort to end homelessness – generally, and among veterans – by 2015.

    It’s credited, in part, for the drop in homelessness nationally since then.

    Pennsylvania’s current homeless population is higher than it was in 2008 and every year since, but still down overall compared to 2007 – the earliest data available.

    The number of veterans experiencing homelessness in the Commonwealth is lower than every year since 2007 except 2008, according to 2014 Point-in-Time survey results.

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