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Veterans belong to some of the most vulnerable populations due to a variety of reasons. Moreover, many of the representatives of this group tend to become homeless due to the hardships they have experienced, which resulted in substance abuse and serious mental issues. In their article, Evans, Kroeger, Palmer, and Pohl (2019) investigate how the needs of veterans can affect the allocation of money on the federal level.
The main points of the authors
The main point made by the authors is that the Housing and Urban Development? Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program has the potential to reduce homelessness among veterans. Evans et al. (2019) admit that it would be wrong to ascribe a considerable fall in veterans’ homelessness entirely to HUD-VASH vouchers. However, scholars also report important positive outcomes of the program. Specifically, each additional HUD-VASH voucher has contributed to an over 1% reduction in homelessness, a 0.9% increase in permanent supportive housing beds, and a 0.7% decline in chronic homelessness in the 2007-2017 period (Evans et al., 2019). Therefore, it is viable to assume that HUD-VASH vouchers are likely to help in the alleviation of homelessness among the identified vulnerable population.
My opinion of the article
I find the article rather valuable since it offers at least two significant findings. On the one hand, scholars have performed a thorough investigation of the various levels of veterans’ homelessness over a decade. Such research allows tracing changes in the area of public services dealing with homelessness among veterans with substance abuse and mental illnesses. Thus, it becomes possible to note the most effective approaches to mitigating the issue. On the other hand, the authors discuss both the advantages and disadvantages of HUD-VASH vouchers. As a result, it is easy to identify the weak points in the program and come up with solutions to them. Overall, my opinion of the article is positive since Evans et al. (2019) have analyzed one of the most burning social issues prevailing in the USA and have distinguished the achievements gained with the help of other programs from HUD-VASH.
The relation of the article to my work
The article related to my experience since I deal with veterans due to some aspects of my profession. I have been in the fire service for twenty-nine years, and I have witnessed numerous cases of adverse outcomes of veterans’ homelessness. Thus, I am concerned about the issue investigated by Evans et al. (2019), and I find the authors’ efforts valuable for U.S. society’s positive development.
Applying the authors’ points to the public sector
It is possible to apply the points and arguments of the scholars to the public sector in a practical sense by engaging more veterans in the program. Also, the connection may be established through the analysis of veterans’ housing needs with respect to the wars in which they participated. As Evans et al. (2019) state, the needs of veterans differ depending on their war experiences. Hence, it is crucial to create a differentiation of these requirements.
There are various positive and negative externalities that could influence the efficiency with which the government allocates resources to provide for citizens’ needs. Among positive ones, there is a reduction of crime and death rate among veterans as a result of providing them with housing. A negative externality may be represented by individuals or groups that consider it more valuable to allocate money for pursuing some other goals, such as dealing with childhood illnesses or epidemics. However, the problem of veterans’ homelessness seems too important to neglect, and it deserves the appropriate attention of the government.
Evans, W. N., Kroeger, S., Palmer, C., & Pohl, E. (2019). Housing and Urban Development? Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing vouchers and veterans’ homelessness, 2007?2017. American Journal of Public Health, 109(10), 1440-1445.