Number of homeless veterans on decline in McHenry County, America

McHenry County presents opportunities, challenges

homeless-veterans2BY KEVIN P. CRAVER

The percentage of homeless Americans who are veterans of the armed forces has decreased for a sixth straight year, according to new federal data.

 While McHenry County also is seeing a decline – as best as a transient and moving population can be counted – its economy presents both opportunities and challenges to combating the problem.

The annual homeless report released last month by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development estimates that 47,725 veterans are homeless on any given night, with one-third of them not having shelter. That’s a 35 percent decrease from the 73,367 estimated in 2009.

Fifty-one of the homeless people identified in January by a “point-in-time” count by hire vetsMcHenry County’s social service agencies identified themselves as veterans, said Laura Franz, executive director of TLS Veterans, a county agency created in 1996 to get homeless service members off the streets and into housing and jobs.

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