Veteran housing insecurity is not a new issue.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing challenges and gaps in services that contribute to veteran homelessness and housing insecurity. Veteran unemployment, which had been at a 20-year low of 3.1% in December 2019, surged to a high of 11.9% in April 2020. Our Got Your 6 Network reports that veterans and their families are at an elevated risk of losing housing due to the economic fallout of COVID-19, as well as the expiration of emergency measures such as Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and eviction moratoria. An issue of growing national concern, BWF has identified housing for veterans as one of our top priorities for 2022.
Informed by diverse studies and real world experience, BWF works with partners to shape grants and support homeless veterans, as well as identify social determinants: legal barriers to care; detrimental financial problems; untreated mental health and substance abuse disorders; and unemployment and underemployment. BWF grants target the gaps in federally administered programs, such as VA housing assistance. While these programs have had a tremendous impact on housing for veterans, they still require supportive investment from the philanthropic community.
With support from partners like Craig Newmark Philanthropies and Wells Fargo, BWF is partnering with best-in-class organizations on the front lines of the complicated and important issue of securing housing for homeless veterans.