Combatting Veteran Homelessness Point-in-Time (PIT) Count of Homeless Persons

Exceeding National Challenge to House 38,000 Homeless Veterans

In April 2022, the Aleda E. Lutz, VAMC was given a target goal of permanently housing 137 Veterans by the end of calendar year 2022, as part of the VA Secretary’s 38,000 Veteran Housing Challenge. By the end of calendar year 2022, the Saginaw Homeless Program and Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) exceeded this goal by permanently housing 238 Veterans. This is 173.72% of the goal. “The strong partnerships the Homeless Program has developed with community partners has been instrumental in achieving this work. This is a community accomplishment,” stated Carly Huffman, Social Work Homeless Program Manager.

Each year, volunteers across the United States enumerate homeless individuals, including homeless Veterans, to engage this vulnerable population in services and efficiently allocate resources. On January 25, 2023, twenty-three employees of the Aleda E. Lutz VAMC participated in the PIT Count, including several members of the Executive Leadership Team. The VA volunteers recognized the importance of this event, as the COVID-19 pandemic has led to unprecedented challenges amongst the Veteran population. Volunteers, despite the winter weather conditions, canvassed the streets, parks, woods, abandoned buildings, and community locations to identify homeless Veterans; connecting them to shelter and other essential services. Although this was a one-day event, Aleda E. Lutz VAMC continues to be committed to the mission of ending Veteran homelessness in our communities.

“We are excited to share Saginaw was one of only 13 sites in the nation to achieve over 150% of the goal and was sixth in the nation for percentage of the target achieved, stated Chris Cauley, Medical Center Director. “I am proud of our Homeless Program, and the staff’s dedicated efforts. It was humbling to be a part of the PIT Count effort and I am impressed with the amount of outreach and resources we were able to disseminate along with our community partners.”

Saginaw is not alone in assisting Veterans with finding their forever homes. The VA is on target nationally for placing homeless Veterans with permanent housing solutions. According to a recent OPIA press release New data shows 11% decline in Veteran homelessness since 2020 — the biggest drop in more than 5 years.