End Mass Criminalization of Black and Brown Youth

End Racism and Discrimination

Monday, 08 December 2014 00:00

VA Struggles to Help Homeless Vets

Written by Brianna Ehley |The Fiscal Times
VA Struggles to Help Homeless Vets Reuters | Larry Downing

President Obama has created a number of initiatives to end homelessness among veterans in the United States. And while many of those programs have helped get thousands of veterans off the streets, others have fallen short.

A national call center created in 2012 to serve as a hotline for homeless veterans has failed to consistently provide veterans with access to support services, according to a new report from the Department of Veterans Affairs Inspector General.

The auditor reviewed 2013 call records from the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans and found that out of nearly 80,000 calls, about 21,000 went to the answering machine, and 13,000 were never returned.

The IG blamed management and staffing issues on the VA’s inadequate support services for veterans. Many of the calls went straight to voice mail, rather than getting patched in with a counselor.

“In our opinion, the majority of these calls could have been answered by counselors, instead of the answering machine,” the report said. It added that of the records the IG reviewed, 85 percent “lacked documentation to prove the veterans had received needed support services.”

According to the report, the counselors working at the center “often did not log in or did not spend the entire day logged into the call center telephone system.”

The report comes at the end of a very bad year for the VA—which has been embroiled in controversy after a spate of reports revealed mistreatment of veterans—including hidden waitlists—at VA hospitals across the country.

The reports eventually resulted in the resignation of former VA Secretary Eric Shinseki—who first launched the Zero Homelessness Initiative in 2009. Since then, the new VA secretary Robert McDonald has taken up the charge—with the goal of attempting to completely eliminate veteran homelessness by 2015.

However, the VA might want to get a better handle on some of the programs that could help them meet that goal. In the report, the IG recommended that they put better protocols in place to make sure the phones were staffed at all times. The auditors also recommended the VA get rid of answering machines and improve staff training. The VA concurred with the recommendations.

Link to original article from The Fiscal Times

Read 7104 times

Latest Economic and Social Justice News

  • 1

Willie Nelson - Keeping the Postal Service Alive

Latest News

  • Repealing the Jim Crow law that keeps 1.5 million Floridians from voting. +

    Repealing the Jim Crow law that keeps 1.5 million Floridians from voting. A seismic political battle that could send shockwaves all the way to the White House was launched last week in Read More
  • Nuclear Weapons: Who Pays, Who Profits? +

    Nuclear Weapons: Who Pays, Who Profits? In an interview with Reuters conducted a month after he took office, Donald Trump asserted that the U.S. had “fallen Read More
  • Sessions issues sweeping new criminal charging policy +

    Sessions issues sweeping new criminal charging policy Attorney General Jeff Sessions overturned the sweeping criminal charging policy of former attorney general Eric H. Holder Jr. and directed Read More
  • Bush’s Iraq Lies, Uncontested, Will Haunt Us Under Trump +

    Bush’s Iraq Lies, Uncontested, Will Haunt Us Under Trump The CODEPINK Tribunal taking place December 1 and 2, and live streamed by The Real News, is a historic collection of testimonies about the lies Read More
  • The System IS Rigged!—The Electoral College and the 2016 Election +

    The System IS Rigged!—The Electoral College and the 2016 Election Donald Trump was right: the system is rigged! But it is rigged for the Republicans, not the Democrats, for conservatives, Read More
  • 1

Economic and Social Justice Calls

  • 5-4-2016 Economic and Social Justice Call
    The team explores the concept, economic theories and realities of achieving Full Employment in the current economy. Guests include Conor Williams, the secretary of the Transitional Jobs Collaborative in Milwaukee and Michael Darner, Executive Director of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
  • 02-03-2016 Economic & Social Justice
    Listen to this month's call led by Jim Carpenter as we discuss the state of our current economy, the impact of poor economic choices, and the other factors that play into the declining situation around the country, and in the world in this open and guided conversation.
  • 01-06-2016 Economic & Social Justice
    PDAction Board Member Donald Whitehead, and former Ex. Dir. of the Coalition for the Homeless leads the discussion on homelessness, with input from Joel Segal, PDAmerica founding member and National Director of the Justice Action Mobilization Network. Special focus is given to the housing crisis, the role of the banks, programs used by other countries to alleviate the problem, as well as the fact that women are the most adversely affected by this issue. H Con Res 98 - Resolve to Eliminate Homelessness - has been introduced in Congress by Rep. Alma Adams (NC-12) and is endorsed on this call.