- Since 2008, there have been more than 79,000 vouchers and more than 111,000 homeless veterans served through the HUD-VASH program, a program from HUD and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs that provides housing vouchers and clinical services at VA clinics.
- On any night in January 2016, HUD estimated that 39,471 veterans were homeless.
- More than a third of homeless veterans were found in places “not suitable for human habitation.”
For the last six years, homelessness in America has been on the decline, thanks in part to improved federal, state, and local coordination of homeless services and increased investment in permanent supportive housing, rapid rehousing, and rental assistance programs, particularly for veterans. Since 2010, veteran homelessness dropped 47 percent; meanwhile, the number of chronically homeless individuals and families with children fell by more than 20 percent.
Last October Trump detailed his vision for bringing “urban renewal” to America’s “inner cities.” “The conditions in our inner cities today are unacceptable,” Trump said, before pointing out that the United States had “wasted $6 trillion on wars in the Middle East” — “imagine if that money had been spent at home.”
Five months later, the Trump administration is considering cutting $6 billion from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to help fund a $54 billion increase in America’s defense budget, according to documents obtained by the Washington Post.
Apparently, when Trump said that the conditions in our inner cities were “unacceptable,” he meant that our public housing is too well-maintained, urban communities are too well-developed, and the rent (for low-income people) is too damn low.
The Community Development Block Grant Program has traditionally enjoyed bipartisan support and currently receives $3 billion a year. The program brings bike trails, affordable housing projects, gyms, recreation centers, and other development projects to urban communities.
The Trump budget would eliminate the program entirely.
” The administration’s current HUD budget is, in essence, a plan to increase homelessness.” Apparently, Trump’s plan is to throw more of our poorest children and vets onto the street for the sake of financing new weapons systems — and then tweet his shocked revulsion at the “carnage” in Chicago. Listen to Trump during the campaign, on September 7th, 2016, talk about his attitude about military spending, action. Trump advertised his focus on allies and helping vets.
He said we’d show the whole world how proud we are to be Americans. Trump emphasized diplomacy not destruction. Trump highlighted the plight of the military. He said:
“We will make government leaner and more responsive to the public.” He said he would “absolutely protect government benefits.” (25:34). He said “nothing threatens the integrity of our democracy more than when government officials put their public office up for sale.” (35.30) Most importantly, Trump said: ” We must also ensure that we have the best (38:14) medical care, education, and support for our military service members and their families, both when they serve and when they return to civilian life.” At (38:39) he goes on to say, “Our veterans are not being treated well. Our veterans in many cases are being treated worse than illegal immigrants, people that come into our country illegally. Our veterans are not being treated well.” He says, “Our debt to our men and women in uniform is eternal, always will be. To all of those who have served this nation, I say so strongly that I will never ever let you down.” (39:11). He said, (39:40) “We will protect those who protect us – it’s very simple. We will protect those who protect us. And we will follow their example of unity. We will work across all racial and income lines to create one American nation.” (40:01).
If Trump’s budget is passed by Congress, we will have a country that rewards those who risked their lives to protect our freedom by leaving them on the streets. Simultaneously we are spending millions on security to protect Trump and family while they vacation every weekend at Mar a logo, playing golf and increasing the profitability of their investments.