Veterans Experiencing Homelessness
VA Programs for At-Risk Veterans and Their Families
VA Programs for At-Risk Veterans and Their Families
Independently and with other federal agencies, VA strives to meet the needs of Veterans at risk of homelessness by providing various services that promote permanent housing and help Veterans achieve their full potential. Here are a few VA programs that are helping prevent homelessness among Veterans. Learn more at VA’s Programs for Homeless Veterans page.
Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF)
For very low-income Veterans, SSVF provides case management and supportive services to prevent the imminent loss of a Veteran’s home or identify a new, more suitable housing situation for the individual and his or her family; or to rapidly re-house Veterans and their families who are homeless and might remain homeless without this assistance.
$202 million has been allocated to SSVF from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to provide emergency housing and homelessness prevention assistance to very low-income Veteran families to mitigate the expected wave of evictions and potential homelessness that will result from extensive unemployment. Funds for this program will also assist the Housing and Urban Development-VA Supportive Housing program in placing Veterans in safe housing to isolate them from the virus.
- Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF)
- COVID-19 Resources
- SSVF COVID-19 Flyer (Web | Print)
Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem (GPD) Program
State, local and tribal governments and nonprofits receive capital grants and per diem payments to develop and operate transitional housing—including short-stay bridge housing—and/or service centers for Veterans who are homeless.
To support Veterans during the COVID-19 crisis, $88 million has been allocated to the GPD program, from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which allows VA to waive per diem limits during the COVID-19 crisis and help GPD grantees to provide all needed emergency housing and supportive services, including emergency placement for Veterans who need to be isolated for their safety or the safety of others.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH)
This collaborative program between HUD and VA combines HUD housing vouchers with VA supportive services to help Veterans who are homeless and their families find and sustain permanent housing. As of April 8, 2018, HUD has allocated more than 87,000 vouchers to help house Veterans across the country.
Through public housing authorities, HUD provides rental assistance vouchers for privately owned housing to Veterans who are eligible for VA health care services and are experiencing homelessness. VA case managers may connect these Veterans with support services such as health care, mental health treatment and substance use counseling to help them in their recovery process and with their ability to maintain housing in the community. Among VA homeless continuum of care programs, HUD-VASH enrolls the largest number and largest percentage of Veterans who have experienced long-term or repeated homelessness.
Homeless Veteran Community Employment Services (HVCES)
Employment is a key element in helping Veterans transition permanently out of homelessness or avoid it altogether. And it’s now easier than ever for business and industry to find, interview and hire job-ready Veterans exiting homelessness. That’s because VA has deployed more than 150 Community Employment Coordinators (CECs), based at most VA Medical Centers across the country, to collaborate with employers ready to hire Veterans exiting homelessness. CECs are recruiters’ connection to potential Veteran new hires for jobs in a wide variety of sectors.
Compensated Work Therapy (CWT)
CWT provides transitional work and supported employment to assist homeless Veterans in returning to competitive employment. Veterans in CWT are paid at least the federal or state minimum wage, whichever is the higher.
Outreach, Referral and Health Programs
Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV) Program
HCHV offers outreach, case management and residential treatment services to help Veterans transition from living on the street or in institutions to stable housing situations. HCHV staff engage and serve Veterans who are homeless, including those diagnosed with mental health or substance use issues. Through HCHV, Veterans receive exams, treatment, referrals and case management. At more than 135 HCHV sites, trained, caring VA specialists provide tools and support necessary for Veterans to get housed and healthy.
$10 million has been allocated to HCHV from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to provide emergency shelter and supportive services during the COVID-19 crisis, including placements for Veterans needing emergency shelter or isolation to avoid spreading the virus. Housing will be paired with care, treatment and rehabilitative services.
- Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV)
- HCHV Rule Change Helps VA Serve More Veterans
- COVID-19 Resources
Stand Downs are typically one-to three-day events providing services to homeless Veterans such as food, shelter, clothing, health screenings, and VA and Social Security benefits counseling. Veterans are also referred to a variety of other services, such as housing, employment and substance use treatment. Stand Downs are collaborative events, coordinated between local VAs, other government agencies and community agencies that serve the homeless.
Community Resource and Referral Centers (CRRCs)
CRRCs provide Veterans who are homeless and at risk of homelessness with one-stop access to community-based, multiagency services to promote permanent housing, health and mental health care, career development and access to VA and non-VA benefits.
Homeless Veterans Dental Program
VA’s dental services help thousands of eligible homeless and other Veterans each year get access to quality dental care. Dental treatment may be available through these programs: Domiciliary Residential Rehabilitation Treatment, Grant and Per Diem, Compensated Work Therapy/Transitional Residence, HCHV (contract bed) and Community Residential Care. Dental care may also be available to certain Veteran patients enrolled in VA-sponsored and partnership homeless rehabilitation programs throughout the United States.
Project CHALENG (Community Homelessness Assessment, Local Education and Networking Groups)
CHALENG brings together providers, advocates and other concerned citizens to identify the needs of homeless Veterans and work to meet them through planning and cooperative action. CHALENG unites VA and thousands of community agencies toward the goal of better serving Veterans who are homeless or at risk.
Justice Outreach and Behavioral Health Services
Veterans Justice Outreach (VJO)
VJO aims to prevent homelessness by helping justice-involved Veterans who have mental health or substance use issues access needed VA clinical services. VJO specialists provide direct outreach, assessment and case management for Veterans in local courts and jails and help them navigate the justice system. Every VAMC has at least one VJO specialist.
Health Care for Reentry Veterans (HCRV) Programs
HCRV specialists work with Veterans to ease their transition from prison back into the community. HCRV specialists meet with incarcerated Veterans before they’re released and assist them in planning for reintegration into the community by accessing VA and community services as well as housing and employment opportunities.
Substance Use Disorder Treatment Enhancement Initiative
This program provides substance use services in the community to aid homeless Veterans’ recovery.
Helping Veterans and their families adjust to life after service can prevent homelessness, and that’s where Vet Centers can help. Located in communities across the country, Vet Centers provide a broad range of counseling, outreach and referral services to assist combat Veterans and their families. Vet Centers also work to identify homeless Veterans and match them with necessary services.
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Veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness can call or visit their local VA Medical Center (VAMC) and ask for a Homeless Coordinator. Use the VA locator tool www.va.gov/directory to find your nearest VAMC and call or visit today.