In 2009, President Barack Obama and VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki announced the goal of ending Veteran homelessness by the end of 2015. Together with partners and supporters nationwide, VA is determined to meet that challenge through the Homeless Veterans Outreach Initiative, an unprecedented commitment to those who served our nation but lack safe, secure housing.
Locally in Acadiana, Catholic Services of Acadiana has partnered with the VA to end Veteran Homelessness in this region. Through use of aggressive outreach, transitional housing, VASH Housing, homeless prevention and rapid rehousing, a major reduction in the amount of veterans living on the streets of Acadiana has transpired. In addition, CSA was on the early track to implement new models of service delivery including harm reduction and housing first. These nationally recognized models have proven effective with even the most challenging of homeless conditions.
The end result is there are significantly less homeless veterans in Acadiana. Between 2009 and 2013, Catholic Services of Acadiana has moved over 170 homeless veterans into permanent housing. Since 2006, St. Joseph Shelter has seen a 21 percent reduction in homeless veterans seeking shelter. In 2013 alone, Catholic Services of Acadiana shelter over 70 veterans across all of their programs.