The CHALENG Process: Identifying and Meeting the Needs of Homeless Veterans
Project CHALENG (Community Homelessness Assessment, Local Education and Networking Groups) unites homeless service providers, advocates, Veterans and concerned citizens toward the goal of meeting the evolving needs of Veterans who are homeless.
This process describes the needs of homeless Veterans, identifies the barriers they face in obtaining permanent housing and works to resolve them through planning and cooperative action.
Since 1994, CHALENG has built thousands of partnerships—involving community and Veterans’ groups, law enforcement agencies and federal, state and local government—that are improving services for homeless Veterans. Project CHALENG has two main components:
- CHALENG surveys that assess local challenges faced by homeless Veterans, identify unmet needs and encourage partnership action to meet those needs
- CHALENG meetings fostering collaboration between VA and community service providers to address CHALENG-identified barriers to housing Veterans who are homeless and preventing homelessness among Veterans
Data from CHALENG has assisted VA in developing new services for Veterans, including the Homeless Veteran Dental Program, the expansion of the Department of Housing and Urban Development-VA Supportive Housing program, the Veterans Justice Outreach programs and the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program. Community organizations also use CHALENG data in applications for grants that assemble VA, other government and foundation dollars to address the local needs of Veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.