MINNEAPOLIS, MN – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar today highlighted efforts to support veterans at the opening of new Minnesota Veterans Home facilities in Minneapolis, which included a new skilled nursing facility as well as an Adult Day Center. Klobuchar recently passed into law legislation helping support homeless veterans. The bipartisan bill strengthens an existing program that provides chronically homeless veterans with housing vouchers and case management services, such as help accessing counseling and job training.

“We can never truly repay the debt we owe our veterans. But we can honor them with our actions, by ensuring they have access to the highest quality care and services when they return home,”Klobuchar said. “This new, state-of-the-art facility will allow us to better serve those who put their lives on the line to serve us, and I will continue to work to ensure our veterans have the support they need and deserve.”

Klobuchar’s bill, passed as part of broader legislation, helps extend critical services to rural and underserved urban veterans. The bill strengthens the existing HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program to authorize and encourage the VA to partner with eligible state and local governments, tribal organizations, and community-based service providers to provide homeless veterans with access to HUD-VASH housing vouchers and case management services. The bill also requires the VA to consult with community providers to ensure all needy veterans are served.

A 2009 survey of homelessness by Wilder Research found the number of homeless veterans in Minnesota at an all-time high. The survey found that nearly 700 individuals in Minnesota who previously served in the U.S. military were homeless on any given night.  Minnesota saw its number of homeless veterans increase by seven percent from 2006 to 2009 and the number of homeless women veterans more than doubled.