VA Focuses on Prevention to End Veteran Homelessness

Veteran homelessness is a critical issue: The economic downturn continues and thousands of service members leave the military every year to a tough job market. VA has recently focused its efforts on preventing homelessness–that is, helping Veterans get access to resources before they end up without a roof over their head.

Part of the solution is a partnership with non-profit groups that can provide on-the-ground support to Veterans and their families who are either homeless or at risk to become homeless. Under the Supportive Services for Veterans Families program (SSVF), $60 million will be spread around 40 states and Washington DC to provide outreach, case management, and VA benefits assistance to approximately 22,000 Vets and their families. Temporary financial assistance payments can be made on behalf of Vets at risk of becoming homeless to help with rent, utilities and other bills.

Homelessness is one of the most serious issues that a Veteran can face. SSVF is one of the many services VA offers if you’re homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Temporary or permanent housing, a 24/7 call center (1877-4AID-VET) and homeless stand-downs are some of the resources there to help.

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9 Comments to “VA Focuses on Prevention to End Veteran Homelessness”

  1. Trvr says:

    I officially join the homeless next Monday the 1st of August (homeless as in not having a place to call my own moving in with my 74 y/o mother something I’m not proud of).

    I’m unable to work, my VA doctor’s have stated I’m unable to work and put it clearly in my medical notes. The Seattle VBA who is responsible for my partial disability pay of $1227 has taken 9 months so far to decide whether the VA doctors who’ve cared for me for four years can be believed before they shell out a full-time benefit.

    Nine months to see if the VBA agrees with the VA’s own medical system and no end in sight. Shinseki’s had enough time to fix the problem and it’s gotten worse. I wonder how many homeless veterans have been forced to the street while waiting for the VBA to do its job?

    • Alex Horton says:

      Trvr, sorry to hear you’re in a bad spot with your claim. Did you give the call center a try to see if you can get assistance before you’re forced to move out? The number is 1877-4AID-VET). You can read more about the national call center here:

      http://www.va.gov/HOMELESS/NationalCallCenter.asp

      Let us know if you do, or don’t, get the help you need.

      • Trvr says:

        Thanks Alex but my stuff’s mostly moved out and I’m out of here Sunday (day after tomorrow). Wish I’d have known of this earlier but maybe it’ll help the next guy out. I’ll call them and see what my options are after Sunday. Thanks again.

  2. Nlck says:

    SAD, No Vet should be homeless. 60 million can hire alot of short help. Wish it was that simple, but its not.

  3. The VA efforts to stem the growing tide of homelessness among the ranks of our returned/returning veterans is incredibly heartening. Many of our present homeless vets lost much or all of their financial traction while serving our country. That has been exacerbated by the countries financial woes. The 60 Mil over 40 states sounds skinny, but it is a start toward helping those few who have made such a major life sacrifice. Stratton VA, in Albany, N.Y. just took a major step in providing just such assistance, especially for homeless women veterans. God bless all of you working to fix this heartbreaking mess.
    William C. Eigen
    USAF ’56

  4. Joe Average Vet says:

    When is the VA gonna stop promising to eliminate Veteran homelessness and start doing something about it? These unfulfilled campaign promises are getting very old.
    The results are that the VA has actually achieved NEGATIVE progress on eliminating homelessness because Veterans are more likely to become homeless than their civilian counterparts. There simply is no advantage to being a Veteran when it comes to homelessness…the reality is that it is a disadvantage.
    Vets are not surprised by this. After all, there are presently more Veterans on the waiting list for benefits than there are Army personnel currently serving, according to Wikipedia, and the VA:

    http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_many_soldiers_are_in_the_US_military

    According to the Army times there are 756,000 Veterans in the backlog, and about a half million troops serving in the Army:
    http://www.armytimes.com/news/2011/04/gannett-benefits-critics-rip-va-for-claims-backlog-040611/

    Its the “new Army”..the million man “Army of claims backlogs”.

  5. Joe Average Vet says:

    My suggestion on How to help eliminate Veteran Homelessness:

    PAY VETERANS THEIR BENEFITS PROMPTLY instead of putting them on a hampster wheel of denials. “Veterans for Common Sense” says it takes an average of 4.4 years for a Veteran to appeal his claim at the BVA. Many Vets can not wait 4 years for their benefits and become homeless while on the long waiting list. The VARO’s keep making the same mistakes, over and over again, denying Veterans and never learning anything from the court cases that reverse the denials.
    The “Veterans Benefit Manual” published by Lexis Nexus demonstrates that there are 22 common errors made by the RO’s requiring Veterans to appeal or forfeit their benefits. These common mistakes, repeated by the VARO’s over and over again, result in Veteran homelessness en masse.

  6. Mrs. Eileen G. Curras widow to Hernandez (WWII) says:

    The VA should focuse on Prevention to End Veteran Homelessness when states attack homelessness as a crime as the State of Florida. It is sad this situation.

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