The Department of Housing and Urban Development estimated that nearly 40,000 veterans were homeless as of January 2016—making up about 10 percent of all people experiencing homelessness.

To help, the government is converting unneeded federal property into supportive housing for some of these vets. Today’s WatchBlog takes you inside some of these properties and shares what the Department of Veterans Affairs needs to do to improve its supportive housing program.

Supportive housing

Three major health risks contribute to veteran homelessness: mental health problems, substance abuse, and chronic illnesses.

Supportive housing is widely recognized as a key solution for persistent veteran homelessness since it can provide services that address many of these problems.

VA and HUD teamed up with private and not-for-profit partners to convert surplus federal property into supportive housing. This housing was created using “enhanced-use leases.” This type of housing provides vulnerable vets with a place to live on a VA medical campus—where they can access an array of community and medical services.

What does living on a VA medical center campus look like?