The Department of Veterans Affairs on Tuesday announced a nearly $14 million surge in funding for programs to assist homeless veterans.

The agency approved nearly $9 million in grants for transportation and renovated housing for homeless veterans, in addition to roughly $5 million to boost services for special populations such as women, the elderly and those who are chronically or mentally ill.

A military veteran listens to speeches during a Veterans Day observance at a shelter in Los Angeles. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters). A military veteran listens to speeches during a Veterans Day observance at a shelter in Los Angeles. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters).

The grants will go toward 189 programs in dozens of states, according to an agency announcement.

“Our local partners have played a vital role in our effort to find, engage, and rescue every homeless veteran,” VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki said in an announcement. “Until no veteran has to sleep on our nation’s streets, we still have work to do.”

The latest round of funding comes on top of $7.8 million the VA and the Department of Housing and Urban Development dedicated in August toward housing and clinical services for 1,120 homeless veterans.

A national count in January 2012 found about 62,000 homeless veterans, a 7 percent decline compared to the previous year. The Obama administration has vowed to drive that number down to zero by 2015.

The VA has made aggressive use of a federal voucher program to house tens of thousands of veterans during the past four years.

MORE: VA claims progress in ending homelessness among vets

The agency helps provide housing and services for homeless veterans in large part through its Homeless Providers and Per Diem Program grants.

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