VA Homeless Programs
Homeless Veterans Resources
On this page
- Flexible Assistance for Homeless Veterans
- National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans
- Physical Disability Board of Review
- Project CHALENG
- Non-VA Resources for Assistance
- Opening Doors – Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness
- Veteran Justice Outreach
- Health Care for Re-Entry Veterans Program
- Outreach Materials
- SOAR Works to End Veteran Homelessness: VA Caseworker’s Guide
Flexible Assistance for Homeless Veterans
Section 4201(a) of the Johnny Isakson and David P. Roe, M.D. Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2020 (PL 116-315) authorizes the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to use appropriated funds for life-saving food, shelter, goods, and services for homeless Veterans or those participating in U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program during the Coronavirus pandemic public health emergencies. VA is sending a total of $20 million in American Rescue Plan funds to VA Medical Centers across the country to maximize the number of Veterans assisted under this authority.
National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans
The National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans is a forum to exchange new ideas; provide education and consultation to improve the delivery of services; and disseminate the knowledge gained through the efforts of the Center's Research and Model Development Cores to VA, other federal agencies, and community provider programs that assist homeless populations.
Physical Disability Board of Review
The Department of Defense (DoD) Physical Disability Board of Review (PDBR) provides Veterans who are medically separated from military service between September 11, 2001 and December 31, 2009, with the opportunity to have their disability ratings reviewed to ensure fairness, consistency and accuracy. The PDBR was created by the United States Congress in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2008.
In March 2014, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) issued guidance to Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) and VA medical center staff across the country to notify eligible homeless and at-risk Veterans of the right to have their disability rating reviewed by the PDBR. VA staff also provided interested Veterans with the appropriate letters and forms. In approximately 25 percent of the cases reviewed by the PDBR (as of December 2011), the applicants were found to be eligible for a disability retirement. Through the PDBR process, eligible Veterans—including homeless Veterans—are provided with additional financial benefits that can assist them with securing stable housing and supporting their families, thus ultimately helping VA achieve the goal of ending homelessness among Veterans.
The attached slides provide additional details about PDBR. For more information about the Physical Disability Board of Review, click here.
View PDBR Slide Overview Slides
Project CHALENG (Community Homelessness Assessment, Local Education and Networking Groups) for Veterans, an innovative program designed to enhance the continuum of care for homeless Veterans provided by the local VA and its surrounding community service agencies. The guiding principle behind Project CHALENG is that no single agency can provide the full spectrum of services required to help homeless Veterans become productive members of society. Project CHALENG enhances coordinated services by bringing the VA together with community agencies and other federal, state, and local governments who provide services to the homeless to raise awareness of homeless Veterans' needs and to plan to meet those needs.
Non-VA Resources for Assistance
Webpage with links to various websites to other Federal and community resources that could be helpful to those who are homeless or are at risk of homelessness.
Opening Doors – Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness
This Plan outlines an interagency collaboration that aligns mainstream housing, health, education, and human services to prevent Americans from experiencing homelessness. As the most far-reaching and ambitious plan to end homelessness in our history, this Plan will both strengthen existing partnerships—such as the combined effort of HUD and the Veterans Affairs to help homeless Veterans—and forge new partnerships between agencies like HUD, HHS, and the Department of Labor.
2018 Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent (PDF)
Veteran Justice Outreach
Veteran Justice Outreach provides eligible justice involved Veterans with timely access to VA’s mental health and substance use services when clinically indicated, and other VA services and benefits as appropriate.
Health Care for Re-Entry Veterans Program
The Health Care for Re-Entry Veterans Program helps incarcerated Veterans successfully rejoin the community through various supports, including those addressing mental health and substance use problems.
Informing the public about the availability of assistance for Veterans is essential to the success of this initiative.
View the Get Involved page to find downloadable materials and share them with your friends, family members, and colleagues.
SOAR Works to End Veteran Homelessness: VA Caseworker’s Guide
This guide aims to help VA workers put SOAR training into practice on behalf of Veterans who are homelessness or at risk of homelessness. The fact is that Veterans and others with disabilities who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness often struggle to access available resources. The Social Security Administration (SSA) administers two programs that can provide assistance: Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). These programs have some similarities, but are different in key ways. Each application requires certain documentation; both are complex. SOAR is a training and technical assistance initiative created by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and made available to case managers and social workers across the Federal Government and individual states. SOAR offers free tools and training to VA staff and other caseworkers nationwide to boost access to these benefits for people with disabilities who are experiencing or are at risk of homelessness, including Veterans. Use this guide to learn how SOAR works to end Veteran homelessness and then put SOAR training into practice on behalf of Veterans.
SQUARES is a VA web application that provides external homeless service organizations with reliable, detailed information about Veteran eligibility. Users submit identity attributes for homeless individuals (name, DOB, SSN, gender), and SQUARES returns information regarding their Veteran status and eligibility for homeless programs. The tool facilitates quick and simple access to care for homeless and at-risk Veterans.
New vs. Old SQUARES
A limited version of SQUARES was first made available in 2015. The updated version, available starting February 2019, contains several upgrades, including:
- Immediate and thorough eligibility confirmation, including information about military service and VHA enrollment
- ‘Fuzzy search,’ which can identify Veterans even if identifiers are entered with minor errors
- Batch inquiries, allowing providers to immediately identify Veterans from among their large client populations
With this version, SQUARES allows SSVF and GPD providers to offer critical services for homeless and at-risk Veterans without waiting for documentation or going to a VA Medical Center.
We strongly encourage you to take the 10-15 minute online SQUARES training course before applying for access or using the tool.
For additional information on how to access SQUARES, please visit http://www.va.gov/homeless/squares or contact SQUARESAdmin@va.gov.
Make the Call
Access VA’s services for homeless and at-risk Veterans, available 24/7.
Homeless Veteran Chat
Confidential, 24/7 online support for Veterans and friends
VA Medical Center
Locate Your Local
VA Medical Center Now
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.