For the first time in seven years the number of homeless veterans is up.
From January 2016 to January 2017, the number of homeless vets increased 1.5 percent, according to a new report from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
On the night of a homeless census in January 2017, 40,056 veterans were unsheltered.
This horrific news is was met by the Trump administration's announcement that later in the year they will be seeking to cut funding to a program designed to aid homeless vets.
On December 1st, Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin released a statement that he was gutting a $460-million program dedicated to veteran homelessness. The move came after Shulkin had told Military Times that he didn't believe it was practical to aim for zero veteran homelessness.
"There is going to be a functional zero, essentially somewhere around 12,000 to 15,000 that despite being offered options for housing and getting them off the street, there are a number of reasons why people may not choose to do that,"
In light of the homeless spike the news of the cut was met a vicious backlash from veteran advocates and members of Congress so intense that Shulkin reversed course late Wednesday promising in a news release...
"absolutely no change in the funding to support our homeless programs,"
In a statement released Thursday, the the National Coalition of Homeless Veterans told Shulkin that the VA needed to "clarify," his pledge to dedicate time on "how best to target our funding to the geographical areas that need it most,".
After President Barack Obama pledged to "end veterans’ homelessness," in 2010 the number of homeless veterans in the U.S. has, until now, declined by 46 percent.
But the increase in veteran homeless since Trump took office has matched the rise in the overall homeless population which is up .7 percent overall from 2016.
The 40,056 veterans account for roughly nine percent of all homeless people.