This article in the Sacramento Bee really depressed me. Decision makers in California decided to build two state-of-the-art homes to help up to 450 homeless veterans have a place where they can live with some dignity. These two homes in Fresno and Redding will run just under $250 million, which left very little in the budget earmarked for veterans.
It gets worse.
The monthly cost to house a veteran is estimated to be $4,800. Currently the residents are expected to pay rent ranging from $2,500 to over $5,000 a month. However, officials are now talking about raising those caps to help make ends meet when the homes are operational. I can’t help but wonder how they intend to fill these homes with currently homeless veterans with monthly rental rates over $2,500 and up. What am I missing here?
I appreciate the journalist who brought this issue up. It’s not always a safe to question funding for disabled veterans often draws heavy fire. But we must fight to ensure resources are used as effectively as possible. Funding IS limited and the maximum bang for the buck needs to be the goal each and every time a spending decision is made. To do otherwise not only leads to missed opportunities, but it results in less public support. Taxpayers deserve to have their money spent wisely.
$247,000,000. What would YOU have spent it on to help homeless veterans in California?
Source: Are California veterans homes the best use of money for vets?