VA is working to help Veterans and their families maintain safe housing while the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact their economic stability. VA resources have always helped Veterans meet important needs, but housing-related support is especially critical now, as many Veterans across the country are at risk of losing their housing.
To combat this risk, VA is offering supportive services to low-income Veterans facing homelessness to find suitable housing for themselves and their families. VA takes a Housing First approach – meaning that housing is considered a basic need that should be met quickly and without any preconditions. Once housing has been secured, other services can be provided. Eligible Veterans and their families receive housing counseling, legal services, child support services, and rental assistance to ensure all members of the family are supported and cared for. One resource that provides these services is Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program.
Another Housing First resource offered by VA – the Housing and Urban Development-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program – enrolls the largest percentage of Veterans in need of housing, with over 100,000 total vouchers nationwide. The HUD-VASH program gives Veterans and their families the resources they need to exit homelessness while providing them with the tools and support to help them maintain safe and stable housing.
Other Helpful VA Resources
Stable housing is essential for individuals and families to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but housing alone is not sufficient. Once housing has been secured, Veterans and their families can focus on employment, health and wellness, education, and other needs. VA provides the following resources to help them:
- VA’s employment and training programs help at-risk Veterans obtain and maintain employment.
- VA programs for justice-involved Veterans promote access to VA benefits and help obtain the distribution of compensation to the spouses and children of incarcerated Veterans.
- VA’s outreach, case management, and residential treatment services help Veterans transition from homelessness to stable housing situations.
With the help from the full range of VA resources, thousands of Veterans and their families can worry less about housing and focus on addressing other important needs.
- To locate a SSVF program provider or to learn more, visit the SSVF website or call VA’s National Call Center for Homeless Veterans at 1-877-4AIDVET (1- 877-424-3838).
- Refer Veterans who are homeless or at imminent risk of becoming homeless to their local VA medical center, where VA staff are ready to assist.
- Visit VA’s Veterans Experiencing Homelessness website to learn about employment initiatives and other programs for Veterans exiting homelessness.
Monica Diaz is the executive director of the VHA Homeless Programs Office.