HUD: Veteran homelessness in R.I. ticks up amid national decline

PROVIDENCE – The number of homeless veterans declined 5.4 percent year over year in 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Thursday, decreasing from 40,020 to 37,878 veterans nationwide.

In Rhode Island, out of step with the national decline, the number of homeless veterans in 2018 increased to 103 veterans from 95 the previous year and 89 the year before that.

“We are proud of the collaborative frontline efforts being made by our Rhode Island partners working to end veteran homelessness,” said David Tille, HUD New England regional administrator, in a statement. “Our mission is not yet completed but by working together we are confident that we will end veteran homelessness across New England.”

Of the 103 homeless veterans this year, only 3 were determined to be without shelter.

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Of the 100 in shelter, 37 were in emergency shelters and 63 were in transitional housing. There were no homeless veterans in safe havens. According to HUD, safe havens serve as refuge for people who are homeless and have a serious mental illness. The previous year, 31 veterans were in emergency shelters and 61 were in transitional housing.

“We owe it to our veterans to make certain they have a place to call home,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson in a statement. “We’ve made great strides in our efforts to end veteran homelessness, but we still have a lot of work to do to ensure those who wore our nation’s uniform have access to stable housing.”

In Massachusetts in 2018, there were 985 homeless veterans, 51 of whom were unsheltered. Of the sheltered, 226 were in emergency shelters, 668 were in transitional housing and 40 were in safe havens.

Chris Bergenheim is the PBN web editor. Email him at