Veteran homelessness: Trump’s budget could hurt efforts

In this Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013 photo, Dave Dyer, a Massachusetts Department of Veterans Services peer specialist, speaks with a reporter at a homeless shelter in Cambridge, Mass. Dyer is one of seven formerly homeless vets that the state of Massachusetts has hired to work with the homeless in the Boston area. Typically, they spend one day a week roaming the city’s streets and shelters to make contact and provide assistance to homeless veterans. Fellow outreach team leader Christopher Doyle, left, looks on. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – Nonprofits and local officials say the push to end homelessness among veterans would suffer without the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, which would be eliminated under President Donald Trump’s proposed budget.

The council coordinates the efforts of 19 federal agencies that play a role in preventing and ending homelessness among all Americans.

But the strides made with veterans – for whom homelessness has been effectively ended in three states and dozens of communities – make the proposed cuts particularly upsetting to advocates.

Homeless advocates in any given state consult the council on which strategies are working elsewhere as they seek to house veterans. They worry momentum will slow.

Navy veteran Stephen Matthews says he doesn’t want to see a system changed that has helped him and many others find a safe place to live.

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