Memorial Day is upon us, a day commemorating the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. The Day is a reminder of the sacrifice of war and the reality of just how much has been given up by those who have served, and especially those veterans and their families who have been impacted by their service.
Memorial Day reminds all of us of what we owe to those brave men and women. And for some of those veterans, they came home to a nation that barely understands the suffering and sacrifices they have made.
Since 1990, the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans (NCHV) has been working every day with a national network of community service providers to help veterans address housing crises that many of today's veterans confront, and to ultimately end veteran homelessness. With hundreds of members, on an annual basis, thousands of veterans who are homeless or on the verge of homelessness are provided with services and support to remove or prevent them from homelessness. With the efforts of organizations such as NCHV, our members and the community, homelessness among veterans has decreased by nearly 50% since 2010. However, the crisis is not yet over.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to widespread economic crisis nationwide. NCHV and our members across the country have worked to improve access to safe shelter and social distancing opportunities for veterans experiencing homelessness. We have worked with Congress, the Administration, and other key partners to secure $300 million for VA to support these services, and have worked with experts and service providers across the country to share best practices on how best to serve veterans during this crisis. We have also connected veterans to critical housing, employment, and financial assistance resources via our toll-free help line.
Homelessness impacts veterans of all ages, to include the children and family of our homeless veterans. All branches of the military services, genders and ethnicities experience homelessness. Some economists are predicting a 40-45 percent increase in homelessness by January 2020 if homelessness follows unemployment the way it has during prior economic downturns in this country.
On this Memorial Day, we are reaching out to you to support veterans who are in need. Your investment will help us serve veterans who are and who may become homeless due to the impacts of COVID-19. No veteran should ever be without a place to sleep at night. Help NCHV and our Board of Directors in our continued commitment to do everything we can to ensure these veterans have a place to call home.