United States Department of Veterans Affairs
Homeless Veterans

The National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans

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“….to promote recovery oriented care for Veterans who are homeless or at-risk for homelessness.“

Preliminary Studies & Findings

Policy Analysis Core

The Policy Analysis Core of the National Center on Homelessness among Veterans will provide guidance and consultation on existing and proposed statutes, regulations, directives and other VA and non-VA polices as they relate to the delivery of services to homeless Veterans.  Additionally, the Policy Analysis Core will seek to identify potential areas of collaboration with other federal agencies that would strengthen the continuum of care, while enhancing the efficiency and coordination of overall federal efforts.

Focus Area

Program

Policy & Practice Implications

Prevention

Supportive Services for Veterans Families (SSVF) and HUD and Veterans Homeless Demonstration Program – Establish VA funded SSVF, and HUD-VA funded Homeless Demonstration Program designed to reduce the number of Veterans families entering homelessness. Currently, NEPEC estimates that approximately 27,000 new Veterans request services for homelessness each year. SSVF should reduce this influx. This community based program relies on the collaboration of a variety of mainstream and specialized service providers in each area served. The advice of community providers will be actively solicited in shaping the development of these programs.

Housing First – Promote rapid and direct placement of homeless Veterans into housing and offer treatment and supportive services. Individuals will be prepared for permanent housing by requiring the completion of treatment or harm reduction programs.

Prevention is a critical component of the VA’s efforts to end homelessness among Veterans.

 

 

 

 

Moving in to permanent housing should not be contingent on completing treatment programs.

Integration of Services Along the Continuum of Care

Meeting Child Support Obligations – Among the 11,711 homeless Veterans and community providers surveyed during the 2008 CHALENG, legal assistance for child support ranked as the second highest unmet need. Unresolved child support debts can result in liens against bank accounts, denial of credit, failed background checks commonly a part of job applications, forfeiture of driver’s licenses, arrest, inability to secure a lease, and contributes to homelessness.

The Department of Health and Human Services, the American Bar Association, AmeriCorps and the VA will launch a 9-city pilot designed to help Veterans meet their child support obligations.

HUD-VASH – Assess the potential of contracts with local providers to act as housing specialists to facilitate the placement of homeless Veterans and their families in permanent housing with Section 8 vouchers.

Speeding the rate and quantity of placements in permanent housing will remove these Veterans from homelessness.

 

Research & Methodology Core

The Research & Methodology Core of the National Center on Homelessness among Veterans is intended to increase and disseminate knowledge about homelessness among veterans to inform practice and policy decisions. The following research agenda outlines how the Center will address gaps in the research on homelessness among veterans and develop evidence-based policy and practice solutions.

Focus Area

Studies

Policy & Practice Implications

Prevalence of Homelessness

Multi-Site Prevalence Study – Compare prevalence of homelessness among veterans and nonveterans using Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) and Census data

Improved targeting of resources to prevent and eliminate homelessness among veterans

Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR): Supplement on Veterans – Estimate use of mainstream homelessness services and beds by veterans and families

National and local estimates to inform policy and practice initiatives

Geographic Risk Profiles – Develop national, state, and city maps of at-risk veterans

More precise geographic targeting of resources

OEF/OIF Risk and Resiliency Study – Determine risk and protective factors for homelessness among veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan

Informed design of homelessness prevention efforts

Patterns of Health & Social Services Utilization

Services Utilization Study – Determine the use of services funded by VA and mainstream services by veterans who are homeless; identify costs of service utilization and potential savings to mainstream systems

Improved coordination between VA and mainstream systems, access to VA services for underserved veterans, and integration of homeless services to prevent homelessness and house veterans who are homeless

Model Development & Evaluation

High/Low  HUD-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) Program Utilization and Performance Study – Review systems, program, and clinical aspects of HUD-VASH and build an evidence base for effective supportive housing models

Maximized use of HUD-VASH vouchers to increase permanent housing for veterans and their families

Evaluation of Housing Programs for Homeless Veterans – Evaluate community-based housing services for veterans, focusing on those with mental illness or substance-related disorders

Improved matching of veterans with housing and housing services

Examining Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in the Homeless Veteran Population – Identify prevalence of TBI among veterans and necessary supports to prevent homelessness

Development and implementation of services for veterans with TBI

Homeless Veterans in the Criminal Justice System – Develop assessment of Veteran Justice Outreach (VJO) specialist workload, responsibility, and client involvement

Determination of impact of VJO specialist services on veterans’ outcomes

 

The Center: Overview 

The Center’s Mission and Goals 

The Center’s Program Cores 

The Center's Key Collaborators

The Center's Interventions

The Center’s Education Core Activities