Editorial: The VA vowed to house more than 500 homeless veterans by the holidays. How did it do?


After Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough toured the homeless encampment of about 40 people, mostly veterans, who lived on the sidewalk outside the gated grounds of the West L.A. VA campus in October, he went back to Washington and vowed to house not just them but 500 other homeless veterans as well.

“Every once in a while you run across these phrases in the English language that shouldn’t really exist. I think one of those phrases is ‘homeless veteran,’” he said at a news conference. “As long as I’m here, I’m going to do everything I possibly can to get them into houses.”

In fact, the phrase “homeless person” should not exist in the English language. McDonough committing to housing the homeless veterans — in the encampment by Nov. 1 and the other 500 by the end of 2021 — was a welcome promise.

So how did he do? The short answer is: not bad.

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