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Homeless Veterans


ACTion Story

A Program Success Story in Ending Veteran Homelessness

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VA Programs Help NYC Veteran Find Housing, Recovery and Employment
An ACTion Story  |  Oct. 23, 2015

The Challenge

Facing the dual challenges of mental illness and substance use, the male Veteran had been living on the streets in New York City. His health issues—exacerbated by chronic homelessness and a criminal history—stymied his ability to end his homelessness, get well and find employment.

The Fix

The Veteran was connected with the HUD-VASH Housing First Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) team, which works out of the VA New York Harbor Health Care System. The team first acted to get this Veteran safe, stable housing by helping him obtain a Housing and Urban Development-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) voucher. Then, the ACT team referred him to a 30-day the Substance Abuse Recovery Program (SARP), where he could start the recovery process.

The Veteran continued on the path to wellness when he was accepted to the Compensated Work Therapy (CWT) program. This program provides support groups, individual guidance and a network for managing any on-the-job struggles. The support group gave the Veteran tools for coping with his mental illness that enabled him to thrive in the workplace.

Despite having a HUD-VASH voucher, his criminal history hampered his hunt for a home. The ACT team sought help through a local Supportive Services for Veteran Families’ (SSVF) grantee, which located a home right before the voucher was set to expire.

The Result

After completing his CWT assignment, the Veteran was hired for a full-time position in VA’s Emergency Medical Services department. And with a new home in Brooklyn, he’s no longer homelessness.

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