The 1991 Gulf War veteran gets a rental voucher from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. He has received treatment for post traumatic stress disorder at a Veterans Affairs Department facility in Salisbury, N.C., and he lived for awhile at a shelter run by the Alston Wilkes Society, a Columbia-based social service agency that receives VA funding.
"They provided me with the counseling that I needed, transportation to and from my appointments, a place to stay, food, caseworkers," said Baker, 41, who moved into his apartment in Columbia in January. "I followed every step that they told me, and I'm happy."The Obama administration wants more homeless vets — there were about 67,000 on any given night in 2011 — to follow Baker's example by getting mental-health treatment and moving into permanent housing.