March 14, 2006
Media contact: Jeff Schrade (202)224-9093

(Washington, DC) A hearing to examine homelessness among military veterans will be held Thursday, March 16, by the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs, Chairman Larry Craig announced today. The hearing, titled, "Looking At Our Homeless Veterans Programs: How Effective Are They?" will begin at 10 a.m. Eastern in room 418 of the Russell Senate Office Building.

Thursday's hearing will be webcast live, and archived for viewing later, at http://veterans.senate.gov. The hearing may also be audiocast ? during the hearing only ? on C-SPAN's hearings website, located at http://www.capitolhearings.org.

Federal officials estimate that on any given night, approximately 250,000 veterans go homeless, which is about one percent of the nation's 24.5 million veterans. But veterans represent a disproportionate number within the homeless population of America ? one of every three homeless adult males has served in the U.S. Armed Forces.

To address this problem, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and other federal agencies offer a wide variety of programs to help provide shelter and employment for homeless veterans.

Two bills have recently been offered to address the homeless veteran situation: S. 1180, the Sheltering All Veterans Everywhere Act, offered by Sen. Barack Obama (D-Illinois), and S. 1991, the Services to Prevent Veterans Homelessness Act, offered by Sen. Richard Burr (R-North Carolina).

Panel I


Peter H. Dougherty, VA Director, Office of Homeless Veterans Programs, accompanied by:

--Paul E. Smits, Associate Chief Consultant, Homeless and Residential Rehabilitation and Treatment Programs, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

-- Roger Casey, Director, Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem Program, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

-- The Honorable Charles S. Ciccolella, Assistant Secretary for Veterans' Employment and Training, U.S. Department of Labor

Philip Mangano, Executive Director, Interagency Council on Homelessness

Panel II


Michael Blecker, Executive Director, Swords to Plowshares, San Francisco, California, representing the National Coalition of Homeless Veterans

Alan Belcher, Cornerstone Counseling/Transitional Living Services, Woodstock, Illinois

Tim Cantwell, Manager, Cloudbreak Development, LLC, a special needs housing developer which is the largest provider of services to homeless veterans in the country.