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.
The following Quick Reference Guides may also be helpful:
- Requesting and Accessing Your SQUARES Account
- Conducting a Single Veteran Search
- Conducting a Bulk Veteran Search
- Summary of SQUARES Eligibility Information
SQUARES Managers should additionally make sure they have reviewed the SQUARES Manager Guide:
How do I request SQUARES access?
How you request SQUARES access depends on who you are:
VA Homeless Program Grantees (SSVF, GPD, CERS) and Other Contracted Organizations
Any staff member who works with Veterans at a VA homeless program grantee organization is authorized for SQUARES access. Each organization must select one employee to serve as SQUARES Manager. We will review Manager account requests and approve access if the applicant matches the program manager we have on file for your organization. If your organization would like someone new to serve as SQUARES Manager, have the documented program manager let us know via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once the Manager is approved for access, he/she can use SQUARES to approve Standard User accounts for his/her fellow employees. Only Managers can approve Standard User account requests.
Managers and Standard Users both apply for access online. When completing this application, be careful to use your professional email address rather than a personal email (details).
In the application, you may see that your organization has separate listings for its different grant programs. If you would like to combine those listings under one Manager (or, conversely, if you would like to separate out a satellite office to its own SQUARES listing), let us know at email@example.com.
Once your application is approved, you can access SQUARES in your web browser at https://www.my.va.gov/SQUARES. Make sure you bookmark this page, and not the log-in page at access.va.gov. Some functionality may not work in Internet Explorer, so it is highly recommended you use Chrome, Firefox, or another modern browser.
Other External Organizations
For legal reasons, homeless service organizations that do not have VA homeless program grants must sign data use agreements with VA before accessing SQUARES. In this short contract, VA agrees to provide you SQUARES access, and you agree to use SQUARES data to materially advance the goal of ending Veteran homelessness. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to request a draft agreement. We may also request an email from a local VA colleague who can validate your role in the community’s effort to end Veteran homelessness.
Once you return the signed agreement, you should be set up in SQUARES within a week. Then, simply follow the steps for grantee organizations, above.
VA homeless program staff access SQUARES via VA’s internal Salesforce platform. You can request an account from the VA help desk, following the instructions below.
What if I have access to the old SQUARES?
SQUARES 2.0 discloses much more data than the old SQUARES tool, and so users must apply again, following the relevant instructions above. The new tool is also separate from — and does not replace — the HMIS Repository.