WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – Three area members of Congress recently announced that the Westchester Community Opportunity Program will receive $1,916, 631 from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to prevent at-risk veterans from becoming homeless and to rehouse those who recently have fallen into homelessness throughout Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Rockland, Orange and Ulster counties.
U.S. Reps. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y.-17, Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y.-18 and Eliot Engel, D-N.Y.-16, joined in the announcement.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development estimates that 57,849 veterans are homeless on any given night in the United States, including 4,659 in New York. Although 7 percent of the general population can claim veteran status, nearly 13 percent of the homeless adult population consists of veterans.
“No veteran who has put his or her life on the line so we may enjoy ours should ever face homelessness,” Lowey said in a press release. “Community organizations like WestCOP help connect homeless veterans in the Lower Hudson Valley with the benefits they earned from a lifetime of service. As the ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee, I fought for increased investments to help homeless veterans, and I will continue to take every step necessary to make sure our veterans get the support they earned.”
Maloney, son of a Navy veteran, echoed Lowey’s view.
“It is both tragic and shameful that thousands of veterans are homeless on any given night across New York and in the Hudson Valley,” Maloney said in a press release. “As the son of a veteran, I know we can do better, and this investment is a step in the right direction for the veterans in our community who deserve more from the country they fought so hard to defend. Our work will continue until not even one veteran falls asleep on our streets.”
Engel also voiced other issues veterans face such as health care costs and unemployment.
“The brave men and women who have sacrificed so much for our country deserve to return home from service to find a home and a job,” Engel said in a press release. “It was a national disgrace that our veterans’ health care was in such disarray. Just as we took action to provide better services, we must do everything we can to prevent homelessness among our veteran population. I commend WestCOP on their wonderful service and for everything they do to help our veteran community.”