Thousands of homeless Veterans get permanent homes


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More than 77,500 formerly homeless Veterans are living in their own permanent housing today because of a valuable program known as HUD-VASH. That stands for Housing and Urban Development – Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing.

Permanent supportive housing has been identified as a critical resource for ending homelessness.

VA collaborates with the Department of Housing and Urban Development to provide eligible Veterans with vouchers to assist with rent payment to participating to landlords.  The program is administered by local public housing authorities.

Chronically homeless Veterans are prioritized for admission into HUD-VASH.  Following the prioritization of non-chronic homeless Veterans is based on vulnerability and need for the services provided through the program.

VA provides clinical case management and services to help Veterans obtain and sustain permanent housing while also assisting Veterans in accessing treatment and other supportive services that promote increased quality of life and full reintegration back into one’s community.

“The goal is to move Veterans out of homelessness…while promoting maximum Veteran recovery.”

Because Veterans experience homelessness for a variety of reasons, case management is individually tailored to meet the needs of each HUD-VASH Veteran. The program assists Veterans who need case management due to mental health, substance use or other issues stemming from disability, economic hardship, or other barriers to permanent independent housing.

Primary Goals – Out of homelessness and into independence 

The primary goal of the HUD-VASH Program is to move Veterans and their families out of homelessness into permanent supportive housing while promoting maximum Veteran recovery and independence in the community.

The HUD-VASH program operates using the principles of Housing First, an evidence based practice, that helps ensure that chronically homeless and highly vulnerable Veterans are provides opportunities to rapidly exit homelessness and maintain housing.

Housing First seeks to rapidly house Veterans in a low-barrier case management program while providing supportive services that help Veterans stay housed. It does not require treatment completion or sobriety prior to housing.

There are eight principles of Housing First, which are based on the belief that housing is a basic human right. This is in contrast to the belief that people need to earn or prove that they are deserving of housing by engaging in treatment for mental illness or substance use.

Additionally, there should be choice in options for housing locations and supportive services. Services that are provided should focus on supporting the Veteran’s recovery and individual goals.

Great success with the program

According to Jesse Vazzano, “Utilizing the principles of Housing First, we have seen great success with the HUD-VASH program and its ability to house some of the most vulnerable homeless Veterans successfully.” Vazzano is VA’s National Director of HUD-VASH.

In addition, VA prioritizes homeless populations who are particularly vulnerable, including women, Veterans with children in custody, Veterans 65 and older, Veterans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan during Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, or New Dawn, and Veterans with an extensive history of homelessness that does not meet chronic homeless criteria.

To apply for HUD-VASH, please contact your local VA Homeless Program. Veterans can contact the HUD-VASH program directly, or obtain a referral from a case manager in another VA program, from a community program, or other referral sources.

 

Author

Hans Petersen

Hans Petersen is senior writer-editor for Digital Media, VHA Office of Communications. An Air Force Veteran, Hans also served two years in the Peace Corps and worked for 20 years in broadcasting before joining VA.

Comments

  1. Ron Goff    

    Outstanding. God Bless. Ron G. Semper Fi

  2. Rap Dice    

    God Bless this administration & the V A ,
    Program is a wonderful start to get my bro/sis off the street.
    Thank you Com & Ch Trump, taking care of our backs as promised.

  3. Missy Nelson    

    HUD VASH IS a GREAT program for chronically homeless Veterans. I’ve read a multitude of articles on this program on the website and have collaborated with HUD-VASH as a homeless provider for the Supportive Services for Veteran Family program (SSVF). I think adding the SSVF program information to this article as alternative information for Veterans to have knowledge of is important and often (almost always) neglected to be mentioned. SSVF is also a program for homeless Veterans. Not every Veteran experiencing homelessness is eligible for or needs HUD-VASH long term assistance. One of the difference is that for HUD-VASH a Veteran must be eligible for VA Medical. For SSVF a Veteran does not have to be eligible for VA Medical. SSVF is short term assistance whereas HUD-VASH is longer term income based rent. SSVF helps with move in expenses and short term rental assistance with a case manager dedicated to helping the Veteran succeed long term in their new housing.

    I just felt is was worth a mention as SSVF has contributed to a large number of housing homeless Veterans as well as HUD-VASH. Don’t leave us out of the loop of articles as Veterans reading these articles can gain knowledge of programs….especially those not eligible for HUD-VASH. We are out here for the Veterans and work diligently to continue to meet our goal of ending Veterans homelessness.

    Thank you all for fighting for my home and keeping our nation safe. Without our military and past service from our Veterans, we are defenseless!

    More info.
    https://www.va.gov/homeless/ssvf/index.asp

  4. Jose Louis Rodriguez Sr    

    Excellent article regarding homeless veterans. Now we need fellow veterans to reach out to homeless vets about the program. If permitted send me a flyer with the information so I can copy and hand out to homeless vets in my area who may not know about the program.

    Respectfully,
    Jose L Rodriguez

  5. Joseph A Hitzel    

    We are all thanking God for the new POTUS Donald J.Trump for fulfilling his promise of better support for our veterans. It has improved 10 fold in the past 18 months, I am a Vietnam Veteran (Disabled), And I am finally getting the care that I deserve and need, Again, Thanks to the new administration for us all !

  6. Karen Thomas    

    We have seen similar programs in my home city that also work well. What a revolutionary idea that people recover best when they have stable housing as a foundation! Awesome and valuable work! Karen T. USAF Vietnam Era vet

  7. Shawn E Gross    

    Housing while providing recovery services…AWESOME< Great Job HooAAAH!

  8. Xzavier Williams    

    This Hud’Vash program for Veterans is a wonderful idea, IF it was for all homeless vets!!!
    Homeless since 2013 I tried to get in the program in Charlotte NC. Just to find out I have to either be an alcoholic, or a substance abuser!!!!
    Homeless is homeless! I know a few vets that are in Hud’Vash homes. They are still alcoholics, and using drugs!
    I just want to be in a place of my own!!!

    1. Quincy Holdman , USMC    

      I got nothing also. The psych PhD wanted to look through the net to find rentals. What’s the point, I’m tired couldn’t even get access to food. I’m done! Thanx don’t trouble yourself VA.

  9. Marga Davis    

    This would be so great although some of the homeless Veterans for some reason or another do not even seek a permanent home. Bless you for all you do for all to have the life they deserve.

    1. stacey cerqueira    

      i know what you mean im having the same problem in florida

  10. Brian magyar    

    Damn it’s about time. Thank you Jesus.

  11. Phillip Williams    

    I’m a beneficiary of this program and I know its a Godsend. Thanks to those implemented and oversee this valuable resource.

  12. Justin Taylor    

    You don’t have to be an alcoholic or substance abuser to access HUDVASH, you just need to qualify for VA Medical. I know this, because I do not drink or do drugs, but I was homeless for a brief time and without THIS program, I would probably be still stuck going in and out of the Mission I lived in for a couple of weeks prior to getting a place to live. I doubt I would have qualified for any other housing program, being a single man with no dependents other than my service dog.

    I’ve been in a home for more than 18 months now, of which all but the first 3 months were because of HUDVASH. This is a program more people need to know about and it really does work. I’ve seen many other veterans in my local area that have been blessed to have this program. Most of them are not drug users and if they drink alcohol are not alcoholics either.

  13. Justin Taylor    

    Jose L. Rodriguez, they have business cards available at any VA which you could pass out to people… but if you can remember this simple URL then pass it along… http://va.gov/homeless – the phone number is on that page too.

    The phone number is pretty easy to remember, so you can pass along the URL and/or the phone or even print something up with both pieces of info on it. Plus, there is a lot of info on the site and maybe even flyers or business cards you can just print out yourself as well. Anyway, the easy to remember phone number is 877-4AID-VET.

  14. shipdog7    

    I WAS also homeless. Not anymore thankfully. What I don’t understand is an article like this promoting the VA program for Homeless Vets. When I was homeless I had no computer, cell phone, or any other kind if electronics. I had nothing. I would have had no idea there was a chance for me to get a roof over my head and mental help. Folks just don’t come up to you in the streets and offer to take you for help. Much less use their laptop or phone.

  15. Orlando Otero-Maldonado    

    Hud Vash has helped me for almost two years now, it is a great program, homeless Vets should take advantage of this Veterans homeless program! Thank You Hud Vash! If you do not own a computer you can ask about the program in the V.A.M.C. In any State! They also have the C.W.T. Compensated Work Therapy program! There are many programs in the V.A. get help with your issues! God Bless All!

  16. Jon Mitchell    

    LA-J Mitchell, I am currently in the Cash program. I just gave up an apt.in Sunnyslope due to not wishing to add to my, now Clean criminal record. I have new Searching Papers. I have Ssd and VA claims in process.,but no income, bus transportation only. I need some help finding an apt that can waive credit check fee. E-mail any info to (redacted) I thank you for your on going service.

  17. Barbara Simpson    

    Is there any programs that will help you kept from being homeless, my husband has PTSD bad, and other illness, he went on a spending spree, I can’t seem to get us back on our feet. We are finally living in best place we have ever had, close to doctors and all. We just need a little help.

  18. Sir Luke    

    You right “shipdog7”, so a mouth and two feet plus a willing heart is the only thing that will make that difference! We… the People must make that difference! As the old adage goes, “Action speaks… louder than Words!”
    Blessings… Dr. LUKE

  19. Barry Parks    

    I was homeless 15 months ago. The “Volunteers of America” helped put me in stable housing. If it wasn’t for them and their program, no telling where Id be. I’m so thankful!

  20. Restituto Diaz Barraquias    

    I am only homeless veteran family members my fathers die on service related but va manila denied their claim from 1952 up to his death in 1985 he can not produce material evidences and non vso denied I am hopeless,jobless I am l asking you how to avail or to get caregiver, healthcare,Medicare under champva? I am now 53 suffering of high blood pressure and little blind not see clear.
    please advice

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