VA spending soars but many vets still on the streets

The Obama administration appears unlikely to deliver on President Obama's promise to end veteran homelessness by 2016, with less than two months to go before his self-imposed deadline hits.

Although government spending on programs to house veterans has skyrocketed over the past five years, thousands of veterans still have not found their way off the streets. Instead, those programs have gotten bogged down in the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development.

In 2009, the year before Obama vowed to end veteran homelessness by the end of 2015, the VA spent $375,941,000 on initiatives geared toward getting service members into homes. The next year, funding jumped to $622,708,000.

VA spending on homeless programs had grown 304 percent, to $1,520,783,000, by last year. But the number of veterans living on the streets fell 53 percent over the same period, leaving thousands unaffected by the initiative, according to data provided by Congress.

The White House has touted cities that have eliminated veteran homelessness, such as Syracuse, N.Y. and Las Vegas. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is also reportedly expected to announce that his state has eradicated the problem at a Veterans Day event Wednesday.

Nationwide, nearly 50,000 veterans were still searching for a home at the beginning of last year.