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VA and HUD Work to End Homelessness Among Veterans
The Department of Veteran Affairs has just announced $300 million dollars in new funding will be provided to expand homeless prevention programs. This as new numbers show a drop in homeless veterans nationally.
From January 2011 to January 2012, the Department of Housing and Urban Development reports homelessness among veterans dropped seven percent. There is an estimated 62,619 homeless vets. The number has dropped 17.2 percent in the last three years, HUD said.
The drop is on track with the Obama Administration's goal of ending veteran homelessness by 2015.
In Oklahoma, the number did increase from 2011 to 2012, Pam Stark with the VA said. She said the number of homeless veterans in Oklahoma is about 400. But she attributes the increase to a new, more accurate way of recording numbers. Stark said the number of new participants in the VA's homeless programs show the programs are working.
"We are getting veterans off the street and it is going down," Stark said. "They did us a great service by serving in the military, and I think the most heartbreaking thing to see is a veteran without a home who gave so much for our country."
Stark said there are several programs and new partnerships available in Oklahoma City to get those numbers to go down.
"I don't know where I'd be. I could still be one of those homeless vets... if it hadn't been for this program, I'd probably still be on the merry go round of insanity," said veteran David Davis.
Davis has been living at the Friendship House in Oklahoma City, VA transitional housing, for the past ten months. He said VA programs have helped him get sober, get a job and a savings account. Davis was also accepted into a new program that allows veterans like him enroll in community college or trade school.
"They're not going to do it for you but they're here for you in any avenue that you need to be successful in your sobriety, in your goals," Davis said.
Posted: Sunday, December 16 2012, 09:57 PM CST
IN OKLAHOMA NEWS
Okla. transportation agencies supply 400 workers
May 22, 2013 20:36 GMT
MOORE, Okla. (AP) -- Transportation agencies in Oklahoma are devoting about 400 workers and 200 pieces of heavy equipment to the recovery effort from the Moore tornado.
Oklahoma Department of Transportation and Oklahoma Turnpike Authority said Wednesday that employees started emergency work Monday after tornadoes struck in Moore and other parts of the state.
The crews are helping with debris removal in Moore, as requested by local authorities. About 60 maintenance workers are clearing major routes in Moore.
Much of the effort by the agencies is centering on clearing routes that are part of the state highway system.
The DOT says motorists can expect periodic lane closures on Interstate 35 through Moore. Also, off-ramps from the highway in Moore are restricted to emergency responders. Sightseers aren't allowed.
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