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Gov. Whitmer’s budget allocates $2 million to fight veteran homelessness

Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s FY 2024 budget will include an additional $2 million in grant funding for organizations that provide services for veterans experiencing homelessness in Michigan, MVAA Director Adam Hollier and State Rep. Jason Morgan will announce at events in Detroit and Ann Arbor.

These round table events will engage community members, veteran service organizations and groups serving homeless veterans in a discussion on the $2 million budget allocation for the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (MVAA).

On Tuesday, July 25, Hollier and Morgan (D-Ann Arbor) will host a round table discussion at the the Clay Apartments Neighborhood Service Organization (NSO) in Detroit, 3364 Mack Ave, from 1:30-3:00 p.m. On Wednesday, August 9. Hollier and Morgan will host a roundtable discussion at Washtenaw Community College, Student Center Building on the first floor, Garrett’s Room, 4800 E Huron River Dr. Ann Arbor, MI 48105, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. The media welcome to attend both sessions.

The $2 million is a one-time budget allocation for grant funding to organizations dedicated to providing essential services and care for veterans experiencing homelessness in Michigan, but State Rep. Morgan hopes to see more funding in future budgets.

“The latest bipartisan budget will ensure Michiganders who served our nation in uniform receive the resources and support they have earned,” said Gov. Whitmer. “No one should have to worry about where their next meal is coming from or if they’ll have a roof over their head that night, especially veterans who have made put their lives on the line for our nation. I look forward to working with partners on both sides of the aisle, our community partners, and key stakeholders to support all those who have served and will serve.”

“The FY 2024 State Budget makes historic investments in our veterans,” said Rep. Morgan, chair of the House Department of Military and Veteran Affairs appropriations subcommittee. “From new programs to reduce veteran homelessness and suicide, to infrastructure upgrades at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, this budget invests back into those who have served our country.”

“Michigan’s veteran homelessness crisis is completely fixable, and we must do everything we can to solve it,” said Hollier. “We’re bringing together organizations and community members who work directly with this population to hear what tools they need to succeed so the MVAA can bridge that gap. These veterans have given so much for their country, and we must work together to make sure every veteran has a safe place to call home.”

In 2022, there were 2,342 veterans experiencing homelessness in Michigan, according to the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS). But Erika Hoover, the MVAA’s women veterans and special populations coordinator, said that number is likely much higher.

“The HMIS data we receive on veterans experiencing homelessness is a good start, but we know the numbers aren’t entirely accurate for a multitude of reasons, including lack of data and folks not identifying as veterans,” Hoover said. “We believe the numbers are much higher. These additional dollars in the budget are a great start to getting community partners involved in the process of solving veteran homelessness, and also help us get more accurate data in the future.”

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) estimates that 40,056 veterans are homeless on any given night. Over the course of a year, approximately twice that many experience homelessness. Only 7% of the general population can claim veteran status, but nearly 13% of the homeless adult population are veterans.

Veteran Homelessness by the Numbers in Michigan
• 2,342 total homeless veterans
• 89% are men, 10% are women, <1% are non-binary, questioning or transgender
• 55% are white, 41% are Black
• Approximately 10% of Michigan’s veterans are Black, yet they make up 41% of homeless veterans
• The average homeless veteran is 53 years old
• 68% have a disabling condition
• 18% live in Wayne County, 7% in Kent County, 7% in Calhoun County, 5% in Washtenaw County and 4.6% in Ingham County