Housing First: Veteran centered care helping to end Veteran homelessness



When it comes to homeless programs, VA’s policy is “Housing First,” an evidence-based, low-barrier, supportive housing model that emphasizes permanent supportive housing to end homelessness.  This Housing First approach contributed to a 33 percent reduction in homelessness among Veterans between 2010 and 2014, as measured during annual point-in-time counts.

This approach provides Veterans who are experiencing homelessness—particularly those who have been homeless for prolonged periods, and have mental health and/or addictive disorders—with permanent housing, as quickly as possible.  There are no prerequisites for receiving housing, instead, permanent housing is provided as the initial service, followed by other services, such as healthcare and employment, based on the Veteran’s needs and preferences.

For Veterans in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program, the Housing First approach is often provided over a longer period of time to support community-based housing stability.  In Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF), the principles of Housing First are incorporated into the practice of rapid rehousing.  Rapid rehousing is intended for shorter durations than HUD-VASH, but it still places a priority on moving a Veteran or Veteran family experiencing homelessness into permanent housing as quickly as possible.  While originally aimed primarily at Veterans experiencing homelessness due to short-term financial crises, SSVF programs across the country have begun to assist single Veterans and families with limited or no income,  survivors of domestic violence and those struggling with mental health conditions and addictions.

Studies conducted inside and outside of VA have demonstrated that Housing First is both a clinically effective and fiscally efficient model of permanent supported housing that can be implemented successfully in all VA homeless programs.  In 2010, 177 homeless Veterans entered a demonstration project comparing Housing First programs to treatment-first programs. The Housing First initiative successfully reduced waiting time from 223 to 35 days, housing retention rates were significantly higher among Housing First tenants, and emergency room use declined significantly among the Housing First cohort. Housing First works, because Veterans are more likely to achieve stability and improved quality of life when the risks, uncertainty and trauma associated with homelessness are removed.

Vincent Kane, Director, National Homeless Center _thumbVincent Kane, the former Director of the National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans, oversaw various initiatives to promote research and data-driven solutions for Veterans who are homeless or at risk for homelessness. Through research, evaluation, dissemination science, and model development efforts, Kane and the team at the VA National Center on Homelessness among Veterans supports a comprehensive set of initiatives designed to prevent and end homelessness among Veterans.   These activities include collaborating on a research agenda that assesses the current portfolio of services offered to Veterans experiencing homelessness; developing and validating various practice models and program implementation strategies to prevent homelessness and maximize community engagement; and introducing evidence-based practices to VA.

Author

Vincent Kane

Vincent Kane, the former Director of the National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans, oversaw various initiatives to promote research and data driven solutions for Veterans who are homeless or at risk for homelessness. Through research, evaluation, dissemination science, and model development efforts, Kane and the team at the VA National Center on Homelessness among Veterans supports a comprehensive set of initiatives designed to prevent and end homelessness among Veterans. These activities include collaborating on a research agenda that assesses the current portfolio of services offered to Veterans experiencing homelessness; developing and validating various practice models and program implementation strategies to prevent homelessness and maximize community engagement; and introducing evidence-based practices to VA.

Comments

  1. Aaron Weekley    

    I live in Brantley County Ga. I served with my countrymen and am proud to call my self a veteran. I am by code homeless. By the disability I receive I’m limited 30$ a week. But atleast I have a rotting trailer home to lay my head. No power. No water. I’m finally happy to say I have received my first approval after 3 years of silence and 1 year of denials. I have lived like this since after my first year of discharge. May God’s seat be returned unto him in our government. No God No Future!!

  2. Roger Johnson    

    If you know of a homeless vet, around Wardensville West Viriginia,Let me know! I have a signal-wide Trailer (that is in good shape) They can live there for free.The onlything is. They will have to pay the utilitys.

  3. Rosie    

    I don’t know if it’s just me or if everybody else encountering issues with your site.
    It appears as if some of the written text within your posts are running off the screen. Can somebody
    else please provide feedback and let me know if this is happening
    to them as well? This could be a problem with my
    internet browser because I’ve had this happen before. Cheers

    1. Clara C. Martin    

      No, you aren’t the only one having problems with this website and, I doubt the issue is with your browser. The problem I’ve had, and, I see that many others are having, is with the CAPTCHA. It doesn’t operate properly nor does it have the audio feature available for visually challenged users.

      Good Luck.

  4. Fuldagen Ha    

    I have to pretty much agree with the essence of your comment. Although I will say my VA healthcare experience has been mostly pretty good, my experience with the VA homeless programs have fallen VERY short of expectations. I have so much to say on the topic but unfortunately I’m so angry and disappointed that I feel I won’t be able to present my argument in a clear and coherent manner. Perhaps another time when I’m feeling less frustrated. I will say at least one thing before I go. The VA homeless programs need to help those who are not only at deaths financial doorstep, but those who are right on the edge as well. Heaven forbid you have even a few dollars to your name and all of a sudden you don’t qualify for a damn thing. Don’t just say you care, prove it. Actions do speak louder than words. Stop lying to the people and start helping ALL homeless veterans.

  5. patrick jahnke    

    Did u know the va has a brain library know , were waste of money going to the super brains that are sub freeze too

  6. Kristina Johnson    

    This is bull trying to make Americans believe the VA cares or helps to keep families in a home. We rent and $800 does not keep us safe. We are being evicted and the VA could care less. They keep passing us to another program after program without help. I have to be on the street with my dying husband and my children to even be considered for help. Stop lying to veterans, their family’s and the world. It’s freezing outside and not even Salvation Army will help us. I am ashamed of our government and the lies we are told.
    Who cares?Not the people running these programs. Never thought life would be such a struggle. Sidewalk here we come!

    1. Brenda Short    

      Katrina saw ur msg Email me. Although I’m in SC. I MIGHT PULL A FEW RABBITS OUT OF MY HAT. Augiesmom2014@gmail.com. I am quite familiar with ur issue. Unless President Obama pulled the Protection of Tenant Against Foreclosure & Codes changed you can get help.

  7. patrick jahnke    

    U better look right under ur nose, u may find a veteran in a park, city side street, thier not far from uuuu

Comments are closed.