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Homeless Veterans

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Homeless Veterans

For At-Risk Veterans and Their Families

VA Programs for At-Risk Veterans and Their Families

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Independently and with other federal agencies, VA strives to meet the needs of Veterans at risk of homelessness by providing various services that promote permanent housing and help Veterans achieve their full potential. Here are a few VA programs that are helping prevent homelessness among Veterans. Learn more at VA’s Programs for Homeless Veterans page.

Housing-Related Programs

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Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF)For very low-income Veterans, SSVF provides case management and supportive services to prevent the imminent loss of a Veteran’s home or identify a new, more suitable housing situation for the individual and his or her family; or to rapidly re-house Veterans and their families who are homeless and might remain homeless without this assistance.

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Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem (GPD) Program State, local and tribal governments and nonprofits receive capital grants and per diem payments to develop and operate transitional housing—including short-stay bridge housing—and/or service centers for Veterans who are homeless.

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U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) This collaborative program between HUD and VA combines HUD housing vouchers with VA supportive services to help Veterans who are homeless and their families find and sustain permanent housing. As of Sept. 30, 2015, HUD had allocated more than 78,000 vouchers to help house Veterans across the country.

Through public housing authorities, HUD provides rental assistance vouchers for privately owned housing to Veterans who are eligible for VA health care services and are experiencing homelessness. VA case managers may connect these Veterans with support services such as health care, mental health treatment and substance use counseling to help them in their recovery process and with their ability to maintain housing in the community. Among VA homeless continuum of care programs, HUD-VASH enrolls the largest number and largest percentage of Veterans who have experienced long-term or repeated homelessness.

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Acquired Property Sales for Homeless Providers Program This program sells VA-foreclosed properties to homeless provider organizations at a discount for use as transitional housing for homeless Veterans.

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Employment-Related Programs

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Homeless Veteran Community Employment Services (HVCES)Employment is a key element in helping Veterans transition permanently out of homelessness or avoid it altogether. And it’s now easier than ever for business and industry to find, interview and hire job-ready Veterans exiting homelessness. That’s because VA has deployed more than 150 Community Employment Coordinators (CECs), based at most VA Medical Centers across the country, to collaborate with employers ready to hire Veterans exiting homelessness. CECs are recruiters’ connection to potential Veteran new hires for jobs in a wide variety of sectors.

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Compensated Work Therapy (CWT)CWT provides transitional work and supported employment to assist homeless Veterans in returning to competitive employment. Veterans in CWT are paid at least the federal or state minimum wage, whichever is the higher.

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Outreach, Referral and Health Programs

Outreach Programs

Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV) Program – HCHV offers outreach, case management and residential treatment services to help Veterans transition from living on the street or in institutions to stable housing situations. HCHV staff engage and serve Veterans who are homeless, including those diagnosed with mental health or substance use issues. Through HCHV, Veterans receive exams, treatment, referrals and case management. At more than 135 HCHV sites, trained, caring VA specialists provide tools and support necessary for Veterans to get housed and healthy.

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Stand Downs – Stand Downs are typically one-to three-day events providing services to homeless Veterans such as food, shelter, clothing, health screenings, and VA and Social Security benefits counseling. Veterans are also referred to a variety of other services, such as housing, employment and substance use treatment. Stand Downs are collaborative events, coordinated between local VAs, other government agencies and community agencies that serve the homeless.

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Community Resource and Referral Centers (CRRCs) – CRRCs provide Veterans who are homeless and at risk of homelessness with one-stop access to community-based, multiagency services to promote permanent housing, health and mental health care, career development and access to VA and non-VA benefits.

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Homeless Veterans Dental Program – VA’s dental services help thousands of eligible homeless and other Veterans each year get access to quality dental care. Dental treatment may be available through these programs: Domiciliary Residential Rehabilitation Treatment, Grant and Per Diem, Compensated Work Therapy/Transitional Residence, HCHV (contract bed) and Community Residential Care. Dental care may also be available to certain Veteran patients enrolled in VA-sponsored and partnership homeless rehabilitation programs throughout the United States.

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Project CHALENG (Community Homelessness Assessment, Local Education and Networking Groups) CHALENG brings together providers, advocates and other concerned citizens to identify the needs of homeless Veterans and work to meet them through planning and cooperative action. CHALENG unites VA and thousands of community agencies toward the goal of better serving Veterans who are homeless or at risk.

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Justice Outreach and Behavioral Health Services

Justice Programs HeaderSecretary Bob McDonald represents the Department of Veterans Affairs on the Federal Interagency Reentry Council of 20 federal agencies working on prisoner reentry issues.

Veterans Justice Outreach (VJO) – VJO aims to prevent homelessness by helping justice-involved Veterans who have mental health or substance use issues access needed VA clinical services. VJO specialists provide direct outreach, assessment and case management for Veterans in local courts and jails and help them navigate the justice system. Every VAMC has at least one VJO specialist.

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Health Care for Reentry Veterans (HCRV) Programs – HCRV specialists work with Veterans to ease their transition from prison back into the community. HCRV specialists meet with incarcerated Veterans before they’re released and assist them in planning for reintegration into the community by accessing VA and community services as well as housing and employment opportunities.

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Substance Use Disorder Treatment Enhancement Initiative – This program provides substance use services in the community to aid homeless Veterans’ recovery.

Vet Centers – Helping Veterans and their families adjust to life after service can prevent homelessness, and that’s where Vet Centers can help. Located in communities across the country, Vet Centers provide a broad range of counseling, outreach and referral services to assist combat Veterans and their families. Vet Centers also work to identify homeless Veterans and match them with necessary services.

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  • Benefits:
    1-800-827-1000
  • Health Care:
    1-877-222-VETS (8387)
  • VA Inspector General: 1-800-488-8244
  • Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255 Press 1

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