newsputting veterans first salem hcs laser focused on ending homelessness

Putting veterans first: Salem HCS laser-focused on ending homelessness

homeless man winter
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As part of the Veteran Administration’s nationwide goal to house 38,000 homeless veterans in 2022, the Salem VA Healthcare System provided 125 permanent housing placements to homeless veterans.

Permanent housing placements provided by VA staff and community partners included apartments or houses veterans could rent or own, often with a subsidy to help make the housing affordable. VA staff also helped some veterans end their homelessness by reuniting with family and friends.

The Salem homeless program exceeded local permanent housing placement goals, registering a placement rate of 121 percent.

Nationally, 40,401 veterans were housed, exceeding the national goal by more than 6 percent.

“This goal was achieved through the hard work and dedication of our homeless program staff, our grantees, contractors and the extraordinary contributions of community partners,” said Rebecca Stackhouse, Salem VA HCS Executive Director. “The progress we’re seeing with veteran homelessness shows we have the right solutions to end homelessness for veterans. We are very fortunate to have an outstanding team that is laser-focused on the mission and that truly puts veterans first.”

Nationally, the number of veterans who experienced homelessness on a single night in January 2022 was 33,129 – a decrease of 11 percent from January 2020. The estimated number of veterans experiencing homelessness has declined by 55.3 percent since 2010.

Efforts are built on the evidence-based “Housing First” approach, which prioritizes getting a Veteran into housing, then providing the wraparound support needed to stay housed – including health care, job training, legal and education assistance and more.

For more information on veteran homelessness programs, call (877) 424-3838 or visit

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.