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FYI: The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has angered organizations offering shelter services to veterans with an obscure policy change that has cut the number of shelters getting federal funding. During the most recent funding cycle, the VA merged its two shelter-subsidy programs into one, aiming to streamline the process and cut waste–officials say the two programs served the same purpose, but one cost more to run. But according to a Washington Post report, the number of shelters funded dropped dramatically as a result of the merger. Moreover, more than half of the shelters that were applying for renewal of their grants were turned down–critics say to make room for scores of new faith-based shelter programs, which got 40 percent of the grants. VA officials told the Post that while some previous grantees have been replaced, that does not reflect a drop in the number of veterans served. In actuality, officials said, “thousands more homeless vets are getting services.” [3/20/03]

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