VA, DOL, and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) recently met to promote housing stability and employment opportunities for Veterans. This partnership led to the Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program (HVRP), which provides Veterans who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless with the comprehensive support they need to obtain and maintain gainful employment.
HVRP delivers employment training, transportation, professional clothing, and more. And through the VA Homeless Programs Office, homeless and at-risk Veterans receive ongoing support services, medical care, and housing.
HVRP in action
Randall Sarrett, a Veteran who had experienced homelessness for almost six years, benefitted from the collaboration.
Sarrett met with Kaniko Neighbors, a vocational development specialist at VA Greater Los Angeles. After Sarret applied for a housing voucher with HUD-VASH, Neighbors connected Sarrett with HVRP.
Almost immediately after entering permanent housing through HUD-VASH, Sarrett landed an interview for an accounting position. But he needed professional clothing. That’s when HVRP stepped up.
Sarrett was given a round-trip Uber ride to a clothing store to choose a suit, shirt, tie, and dress shoes. His interview was a success, and he began employment at New Directions. Sarrett then needed casual work attire for his new job, so HVRP provided funding for work clothing, as well as a bus pass for his commute.
“Once Randall took advantage of VA’s and HVRP’s benefits, he said it was the best choice ever,” said Neighbors. “He still resides in Los Angeles and has been employed at New Directions ever since.”
And, since he was a “model tenant,” Sarrett’s landlord agreed to house another Veteran through the HUD-VASH program.
The HVRP program began in 1987. In the fall of 2018, Congress passed the Veterans Benefits and Transition Act, which expanded HVRP eligibility. Eligibility criteria were further expanded through a 2019 appropriations act. As a result of those changes, organizations that receive HVRP grants are now able to serve many Veterans who were previously ineligible.
DOL, VA, and USICH presented a series of webinars from July 30 – August 8, 2019, to ensure the successful rollout of the HVRP program expansion. To listen to the webinars, visit https://manhattanstrategy.egnyte.com/dl/xlbLgPEzhj/.
- Visit VA’s Homeless Veterans website to learn about employment initiatives and other programs for Veterans exiting homelessness.