The White House on Monday claimed more progress in the fight against veterans' homelessness, just ahead of President Obama's address at the annual convention of the Disabled American Veterans in Atlanta.
The number of U.S. veterans experiencing homelessness has been cut nearly in half since 2010, the Departments of Housing and Urban Development and Veterans Affairs announced.
"The dramatic decline in veteran homelessness reflects the power of partnerships in solving complex national problems on behalf of those who have served our nation," VA Secretary Robert McDonald said.
The data show a 17 percent decrease in veteran homelessness, a drop that was four times bigger than the prior year's drop. Since 2010, there has been a 47 percent overall decrease.
The recent drop means that as of January 2016, there were fewer than 40,000 veterans experiencing homelessness, the Obama administration said. Of those, just over 13,000 were unsheltered living on the streets, a 56 percent decrease since 2010.
In 2010, HUD, the VA and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness launched a federal strategy to end veteran homelessness. That partnership, called Opening Doors, set a goal of ending veteran homelessness by 2015 and chronic homelessness by 2017.
HUD and VA launched a housing voucher program in 2008 they say has helped cut into the homeless veteran population. The two agencies also have relied heavily on numerous programs to help combat veteran homelessness, including job training and permanent housing.
"While we've made remarkable progress toward ending veteran homelessness, we still have work to do to make certain we answer the call of our veterans just as they answered the call of our nation," HUD Secretary Julián Castro said Monday.