The care for homeless veterans has caused the creation of lot of websites each citing that it is the “answer”. I will be trying to act as a center for these opportunities for veterans. The only real answer begins with the veteran. Housing is the main requirement and is being addressed by several sites.
1. National Call Center for Homeless Veterans is the clearinghouse for homeless veteran help. Trained VA staff members are available 24/7. The number is 1-877-424-3838 or 1-877-4AID VET. The national call center webpage “is intended to assist homeless Veterans and their families, VA Medical Centers, federal, state and local partners, community agencies, service providers and others in the community.” The national VA homeless resource guide is available as PDF or Word. Take note: It is 191/194 pages if you print it out.
2. Housing Support Services “Includes information and resources to provide permanent , transitional, or temporary housing and ongoing case management and treatment services for Homeless Veterans.” “HUD has allocated over 20,000 “Housing Choice” Section 8 vouchers to Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) throughout the country for eligible homeless Veterans. This program allows Veterans and their families to live in Veteran-selected apartment units. The vouchers are portable, allowing Veterans to live in communities where VA case management services can be provided.”
Grant and Per Diem: “The Grant and Per Diem (GPD) Program is offered annually (as funding permits) by the VA to fund community-based agencies providing transitional housing or service centers for homeless Veterans. Under the Capital Grant Component VA may fund up to 65% of the project for the construction, acquisition, or renovation of facilities or to purchase van(s) to provide outreach and services to homeless Veterans.”
Supported Housing: “Like the HUD-VASH program identified above, staff in VA’s Supported Housing Program provides ongoing case management services to homeless Veterans. Emphasis is placed on helping Veterans find permanent housing and providing clinical support needed to keep veterans in permanent housing. Staff in these programs operate without benefit of the specially dedicated Section 8 housing vouchers available in the HUD-VASH program but are often successful in locating transitional or permanent housing through local means, especially by collaborating with Veterans Service Organizations.”
“Initially serving as a mechanism to contract with providers for community-based residential treatment for homeless Veterans, many HCHV programs now serve as the hub for a myriad of housing and other services which provide VA a way to outreach and assist homeless Veterans by offering them entry to VA care.”
“Outreach is the core of the HCHV program. The central goal is to reduce homelessness among Veterans by conducting outreach to those who are the most vulnerable and are not currently receiving services and engaging them in treatment and rehabilitative programs.”
“Contract Residential Treatment Program ensures that Veterans with serious mental health diagnoses can be placed in community-based programs which provide quality housing and services.”
4. Employment and Job Training: “In VA’s Compensated Work Therapy/Transitional Residence (CWT/TR) Program, disadvantaged, at-risk, and homeless Veterans live in CWT/TR community-based supervised group homes while working for pay in VA’s Compensated Work Therapy Program (also known as Veterans Industries). Veterans in the CWT/TR program work about 33 hours per week, with approximate earnings of $732 per month, and pay an average of $186 per month toward maintenance and up-keep of the residence. The average length of stay is about 174 days. VA contracts with private industry and the public sector for work done by these Veterans, who learn new job skills, relearn successful work habits, and regain a sense of self-esteem and self-worth.” Compensated Work Therapy (CWT) website
Homeless Veteran Benefit Assistance
“VHA has provided specialized funding to support twelve Veterans Benefits Counselors as members of HCMI and Homeless Domiciliary Programs as authorized by Public Law 102-590. These specially funded staff provide dedicated outreach, benefits counseling, referral, and additional assistance to eligible Veterans applying for VA benefits. This specially funded initiative complements VBA’s ongoing efforts to target homeless Veterans for special attention. To reach more homeless Veterans, designated homeless Veterans coordinators at VBA’s 58 regional offices annually make over 4,700 visits to homeless facilities and over 9,000 contacts with non-VA agencies working with the homeless and provide over 24,000 homeless Veterans with benefits counseling and referrals to other VA programs. These special outreach efforts are assumed as part of ongoing duties and responsibilities. VBA has also instituted new procedures to reduce the processing times for homeless Veterans’ benefits claims.”
Property Sales for Homeless Providers
“This program makes all the properties VA obtains through foreclosures on VA-insured mortgages available for sale to homeless provider organizations at a discount of 20 to 50 percent, depending on time of the market.”
Excess Property for Homeless Veterans
“This initiative provides for the distribution of federal excess personal property, such as hats, parkas, footwear, socks, sleeping bags, and other items to homeless Veterans and homeless veteran programs. A Compensated Work Therapy Program employing formerly homeless Veterans has been established at the Medical Center in Lyons, NJ to receive, warehouse, and ship these goods to VA homeless programs across the country.”
6. Other Resources:
National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans
The National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans is a forum to exchange new ideas; provide education and consultation to improve the delivery of services; and disseminate the knowledge gained through the efforts of the Center’s Research and Model Development Cores to VA, other federal agencies, and community provider programs that assist homeless populations. National Center Webpage
Project CHALENG (Community Homelessness Assessment, Local Education and Networking Groups) for Veterans, an innovative program designed to enhance the continuum of care for homeless Veterans provided by the local VA and its surrounding community service agencies. The guiding principle behind Project CHALENG is that no single agency can provide the full spectrum of services required to help homeless Veterans become productive members of society. Project CHALENG enhances coordinated services by bringing the VA together with community agencies and other federal, state, and local governments who provide services to the homeless to raise awareness of homeless Veterans’ needs and to plan to meet those needs. CHALENG Webpage
Non-VA Resources for Assistance
Webpage with links to various websites to other Federal and community resources that could be helpful to those who are homeless or are at risk for homelessness. Non-VA Resources Webpage
Opening Doors – Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness
This Plan outlines an interagency collaboration that aligns mainstream housing, health, education, and human services to prevent Americans from experiencing homelessness. As the most far-reaching and ambitious plan to end homelessness in our history, this Plan will both strengthen existing partnerships—such as the combined effort of HUD and the Veterans Affairs to help homeless Veterans—and forge new partnerships between agencies like HUD, HHS, and the Department of Labor. 2010 Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent.