Support efforts to prevent and end Veteran homelessness this holiday season


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Each day, we have an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of those in need. The holiday season especially is a great time to make a difference in the lives of Veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Below are four ways to support efforts to prevent and end homelessness among Veterans:

  • Volunteer for the upcoming 2020 Point-in-Time (PIT) Count. During the last 10 days of January, many communities across the United States will conduct a point-in-time count of their local homeless population. The results will be used to estimate overall homelessness and homelessness among several subpopulations, including Veterans. If you’re interested in participating, contact your local homelessness Continuum of Care (CoC) to find out if volunteers are needed.

The 2019 PIT Count revealed that the number of Veterans who were homeless on a single night decreased by 2.1% between 2018 and 2019 and by nearly 50% between 2010 and 2019. Click here to learn more about the 2019 PIT Count results.

  • Volunteer for Stand Downs or other local events. Stand Downs are typically one- to three-day events during which VA staff and volunteers provide food, clothing and health screenings to homeless and at-risk Veterans. In addition, Veterans also receive referrals for health care, housing solutions, employment, substance use treatment, mental health counseling and other essential services. Click here to find the dates and points of contact for Stand Downs near you.
  • Financial contributions can make a huge difference to those exiting homelessness. Your donation will go toward essential living needs such as security deposits, cookware, bedding and other items to help Veterans exit homelessness and quickly reintegrate back into their communities. You can even specify how you would like your donation to be used. Donate online here.
  • Hire Veterans. Despite possessing skillsets that are transferable to many different fields, Veterans who are or were previously homeless sometimes face difficulties securing stable employment. VA’s Community Employment Coordinators (CECs) are available to assist organizations in recruiting, interviewing and hiring job-ready Veterans for entry and mid-level positions. If you would like to consider hiring job-ready Veterans to work in your organization, contact your local CEC.

Consider how you can serve those who have already given so much. We need your help to achieve our goal of ensuring that homelessness among Veterans is rare, brief and nonrecurring.

Below are three VA blog posts about organizations that have joined the fight to end Veteran homelessness:

More Information

  • Discover more ways to assist Veterans who are experiencing homelessness this holiday season by checking out the “How to Help Homeless Veterans” video on the VA Homeless multimedia page under the Web Videos drop down menu.
  • Visit this webpage for information about the communities that have ended Veteran homelessness.
  • Learn more about VA’s programs for homeless Veterans at gov/homeless.
  • Veterans who are homeless or at imminent risk of becoming homeless should contact their local VA medical center and ask to speak to a homeless coordinator, or call the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans at 877-4AID-VET (877-424-3838).

Written by VA’s Homeless Veterans Outreach and Strategic Communications Office 

Author

VAntagePoint Contributor

— VAntage Point Contributors provide insight and perspective on a wide range of Veterans issues. If you’d like to contribute a story to VAntage Point, learn how you can submit a guest blog at http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/how-to-submit-a-guest-post/

Comments

  1. Sue Ellen Bone    

    My home burned down in the California CampFire. I’m in a FEMA CAMP right now. There’s no where to go. Everything gone. The few available rentals are price gouged. HUD-VASH won’t help because I’m in a FEMA CAMP. Even so, the price cap on HUD-VASH is so low, even if they were to help. The only thing I could afford would be a sidewalk.

  2. C Roberts Hewlett    

    All over Metro Phoenix, Prescott, and Payson, I see beggars with a sign; “I’m a Veteran and homeless” I agree we need to help these Veterans, but this is what I have found the majority are not formal military. Time and time again when I approach these homeless individuals, I find when I talk to them and ask: 1.) What Branch of Service? 2.) What years of service did you do? 3.) Have you went to the Veteran Hospital or Veteran Admin. Office. 4.) Where’s your DD214 and if you do not have it any longer (Help them by wherever I’m trying to take them to the library to uses their computer or to my home or take them to the V.A. Hospital in Phoenix to enroll them as a homeless Veteran to fine they were using V.A. system on their cardboard sign stating they were a Homeless Veteran and need help. This wrong, but we have NO one to monitor these fraud veterans (Never been in the service). With that said: All individuals must have a Crisis Center to help all U.S. American citizens for help. Here’s my take on this issue. 1.) Have a Crisis Center (like Red Cross) whereas; all churches throughout the USA must give 10 percent of there church donations per year to (let call it “Red Cross”) for the non-mililary. NOTE: Look at all the donations Washington DC just gives to 294 countries and nothing for our U.S. citizens sick or homeless. Even Congress with there wages, they must give a percent donation from there income?

  3. Kabza de Small    

    I suggest that veterans across America in mass take over and occupy the boarded up and abandoned properties across the country and at the sometime solicit the support of the public.

  4. Komolafe Timileyin    

    We all need to put all our resources together to help meet their need because they fought for us and they deserve to be protected too in our own way

  5. Sarcastic CA    

    Thanks for the information. I really appreciate that..! 🙂

  6. Sandra Burky    

    My Father and I housed and financially supported a homeless vet for the past three years. He has Distractive drinking problem and will not admit that he needs help. My Father passed away a few months ago and now I am the Vets only support. How can I get help to help this Vet?

    1. Mike Paul    

      Sandra, contact your VFW and/or DAV. If they cannot assist you, they will know about local resources that can provide assistance. Also, many counties have a veterans resource officer that can assist in finding assistance for this vet.. The VA also can provide some assistance. You can find more information here https://www.benefits.gov/benefit/4767 Just FYI , many homeless have mental health problems, both veterans and non-vets. The VA will provide indigent care for veterans with limited financial resources. He should be able to obtain access to counselling through the VA which could be life changing for this man. Find out about VA health care by calling 1-877-222-8387 or go to https://www.benefits.gov/benefit/303 Thank you for your concern for this vet and sorry to hear that your father passed recently. Best of luck to both of you.

  7. penny young    

    When will we veterans “MARCH ON WASHINGTON”, we know that Washington does not give a damn about us, we know these programs only work for those sitting in the VA collecting their pay check. Veterans are too busy being proud of being proud instead of being fed up and willing to fight for what they deserve from a do nothing government. Veterans are indoctrinated to stand and fight like hell for everything American and some how they seem to forget that, that America is not fighting for them. The confusion we are confronted with in the VA is a disgrace and the VA treats us like welfare recipients, that being without consideration, respect or humanity. If President Jimmy Carter can house the homeless then there is no reason, no excuse for veterans to be living in fear of being homeless or the pain of being homeless. I suggest that veterans across America in mass take over and occupy the boarded up and abandoned properties across the country and at the sometime solicit the support of the public. Veterans must wage their own war of survival with the same skills and determination they employed on the battle fields around the world. You fought for everybodys freedom in far off lands and now is the time for you to fight for your own freedom of dignity. We must bring humanity into our existence at such time there will no longer be a cry to end homelessness much more no homeless veteran. So I say to my fellow Vets, you fought in the name of everyone else, now is the time to fight for yourself! I am a 73 year old female veteran and we must take the fight to do nothing Washington.

  8. Daniel Keith Boyce    

    The veterans homeless program is a hoax. there were millions if not billions of dollars set aside to prevent homelessness and help veterans already in homelessness and it cannot be found. and when you call the veterans affairs in your local area they refer you to four different phone numbers before reaching nothing. I finally called my senator’s office to express my frustration and he referred me to a non-profit which has done the most help for me. The department of veterans affairs should be dissolved and started over from the ground up.

  9. Valarie J Kirkwood    

    I am a sixty year old female Veteran one family member away from homelessness. I would like to know where to go for help. I was in Fort Worth, TX where I got medical care and that was such a disaster,I cancelled all future appointments and just stopped dealing with them. I got a mammogram, a pap test and getting the results was like pulling teeth. I had the mammogram at a civilian medical center and had to finally set up “My chart there to get the results. The women’s clinic at the VA location that sent me was oblivious as to any results. MyHealthVet only had information that I put on it. The VA kept sending me denial letters saying I had had “Non VA emergency care at a local hospital.” this was describing the mammogram. I was not billed correctly by the civilian medical center but that should have been taken care of in paperwork sending me there.

    I am down on my luck if there is anything called luck so I have to rely on the VA, I got glasses there that do not work and are making my eyes worst.

    I don’t dare try to go there to alleviate my homelessness. Where can I go in Topeka, KS?

    The VA should probably be turned over to civilian contractors then maybe we’ll get some people with hearts and brains.

    Thank you,
    V. Kirkwwod

  10. Don Hill    

    I’m a disabled veteran and I’m in in big fear of loosing my home of 10 years. I have reached out to get the home refinanced and they have said that I don’t qualify. So if you can let me know who can help me save my home, please let me know. All i need is to have my home payment brought down to where I can afford it. Thank You !!!

  11. Raymond L. Edwords Jr.    

    Living in my van on $900 a month 67 year old homeless veteran VA says they’ll take $300 away and put me in a room in somebody’s house. It’s trading one form of poverty for another you can’t live under a roof for $600 a month and have any kind of life and if I make any money they take that away too. There’s no win I have to stay in my van the live

    The VA medical system works in San Diego the other help is a joke. They don’t understand what’s going on with homeless vets and they really don’t care. The outcomes are so convoluted I don’t know how the mentally challenged do it bottom line they don’t and that’s why they’re on the street you can’t navigate this system alone you need a lot of help and you need the money to get around go here go there go here go there they’re not open today that persons not in today we can’t find your record have you been here before been in the system for years they talk the talk and then walk away the homeless part is a klusterfuk

    The website is so flawed it doesn’t recognize numbers it doesn’t recognize passwords it won’t let you in and nobody at the VA is managing their website or helps you access their web data it’s a klusterfuk again they don’t get it they don’t care they don’t fix it they pretend it’s always you the technical support doesn’t exist they throw money at it Congress the president but it doesn’t work shame on them I have so much trouble with those people and they think it’s nothing you go to one person you have a problem they think you’re okay they pass you on to the next one they don’t solve the previous problem and they don’t solve the new problem

  12. Raymond L. Edwords Jr.    

    Living in my van on $900 a month 67 year old homeless veteran VA says they’ll take $300 away and put me in a room in somebody’s house. It’s trading one form of poverty for another you can’t live under a roof for $600 a month and have any kind of life and if I make any money they take that away too. There’s no win I have to stay in my van the live

    The VA medical system works in San Diego the other help is a joke. They don’t understand what’s going on with homeless vets and they really don’t care. The outcomes are so convoluted I don’t know how the mentally challenged do it bottom line they don’t and that’s why they’re on the street you can’t navigate this system alone you need a lot of help and you need the money to get around go here go there go here go there they’re not open today that persons not in today we can’t find your record have you been here before been in the system for years they talk the talk and then walk away the homeless part is a klusterfuk

  13. George Wyre sr    

    We live in a motor home and would like a free place or low price place to park it We just live off social security I’m a army veteran. Never went over seas Thank you

    1. Joeyo    

      Not trying to tell you anything that you don’t already know. I know you can park your motorhome here and there for free at Walmart or Sam’s clubs. That doesn’t help much because you’ll be needing to find water and sewage hook ups. Try to find a campground that you can request work full or part time. Different campgrounds are looking for help with general maintenance around the park. Actually I visited a family member on vacation in Key West at a campground and there was a fellow Vet that had his small camper hooked up there and he was a groundskeeper.

  14. todd Reddic    

    You are doing a great job!

  15. Kevin burns    

    I have furniture donations

  16. Michael D Oblinger    

    Hello !!
    My name is Michael Oblinger .
    I am a Homeless Vet.
    I would like to know more about what you do !

  17. David Roy    

    I’m an at risk of being homeless veteran after being played off. It’s been 2 months of chaos, I feel I’m no closer to securing housing today than I was 2 months ago. The VA says just wait someone will call you in 5 weeks, the org that’s supposed to call me says they haven’t recieved my referral from the VA and I’m not in their system yet or even in a wait list. VA says just wait for a phone call… It’s been 4 weeks, no phone call, no return call from the VA intake person… So many more stories like this.. I feel like I’ll be on the street long before I get help.

  18. Jo Coleman    

    Check WTOC Savannah GA for a story about a homeless Veteran. He did several candid interviews while tiny homes were being constructed. He was due to get one…until “the rules” changed and his support dog was over the weight requirement.

    Richmond Hill, GA another Veteran will be evicted at the end of the month. 2 months behind on rent. Was injured in a construction accident and is on workman’s comp. He will return to homeless status. Without intervention.

  19. Kenneth Buckhannan    

    Thank for the for the opportunity to participate in the homeless veteran program because I am home with homeless vet with PTSD bilateral hearing tinnitus and spinal surgery along with oh high blood pressure male I’m telling them what I need

  20. Missybanker    

    Trying to figure out when 2020 veterans holiday will be

Comments are closed.