How You Can Help
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is preventing and ending Veteran homelessness in communities throughout the nation by collaborating with various organizations to provide affordable housing, employment opportunities, household essentials, and more. Partner collaborations can make a difference. Below are brief descriptions of the most common ways VA collaborates with partners and the corresponding benefits.
If you would like to assist with providing affordable housing, find your local VA Homeless Coordinator here.
If you would like to assist with providing employment opportunities, find your local Community Employment Coordinator here. If you would like to assist in any other ways, please contact us directly at Homelessvets@va.gov.
How to Help Homeless Veterans
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and its partners are diligently working to ensure that homelessness among Veterans is rare, brief and non-recurring. This video provides instructions on how you can help if you know or encounter a Veteran who is homeless or at imminent risk of homelessness.
Organizations agree to provide Veterans exiting homelessness with access to affordable housing options by doing one or more of the following:
- Accepting Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) vouchers as rent payments.
- Setting aside a number of housing units for low-income Veterans and their families.
- Developing a number of housing units for low-income Veterans and their families.
Housing Partner Benefits
The benefits to organizations creating affordable housing opportunities for Veterans exiting homelessness include:
- Steady and reliable rent payments through the HUD-VASH program.
- Reliable tenants who have VA wraparound services to help them integrate into the community and remain stably housed.
- Possible local or state tax benefits, depending on the location.
Businesses agree to provide Veterans exiting homelessness with opportunities to obtain a stable job and steady income by doing one or more of the following:
- Working with VA’s Community Employment Coordinators (CECs) to recruit, interview and hire job-ready Veterans for entry and mid-level positions.
- Providing job training.
- Creating a positive work environment where Veterans can be successful.
Employment Partner Benefits
The benefits to organizations working closely with VA’s CECs who facilitate hiring and onboarding and provide employers with qualified, skilled candidates include:
- Less training needed for Veterans who are motivated to work from day one.
- Assistance with finding the right Veteran for the right job.
- Greater job engagement and retention of Veteran employees through support from VA’s wraparound services.
While employment and housing partnerships are much needed and the most common types of partnerships, VA also recognizes that tapping into our partners’ unique abilities and organizational goals can promote and expand national and community efforts. Examples of these types of successful partnerships are described below. To leverage your organization’s resources, assets, mission, commitment and dedication to end and prevent Veteran homelessness, contact us. We want to hear what will work best for you.
Organizations provide move-in or every day, household essentials for Veterans exiting homelessness through one of the following ways:
- Conducting a company- or network-wide drive of household goods.
- Conducting an internal challenge to collect as many move-in essentials as possible.
- Participating in local Stand Downs or Operation Reveille events.
Donation Partner Benefits
The benefits to organizations working with VA to donate household essential items include:
- Fulfillment of a commitment to support our nation’s heroes.
- A direct point of contact at the nearest VA facility to facilitate the donation process.
- Media interest in covering corporate social responsibility efforts to support Veterans exiting homelessness.
Organizations share information with their members or network on how they can support VA’s efforts and fill in gaps for essential services through:
- Social media.
- Events (e.g., webinars, conference calls, meetings or conferences).
Outreach Partner Benefits
The benefits to organizations working with VA to spread the word about the need to end Veteran homelessness and how it can be done include:
- An increased number of volunteers and organizations are involved in efforts to end Veteran homelessness.
- VA-provided information makes it easy to promote efforts.
- Members and/or networks learn how they can get involved and the best ways to launch their efforts.
VA is proud to work with collaborators who have been able to change Veterans’ lives, whether by providing employment, affordable housing or even healthy food options. These small, medium and large organizations have joined the effort to support men and women who have made countless sacrifices to honor, serve and protect our country. The quotes below are just a few from many partnership success stories that can be found in the videos above and in the blog posts here.
“For any organization that’s focused on helping homeless Veterans, only by coming together in partnership with the VA and all of the other community collaborators can we really solve this problem nationwide.”
—Ken Leslie, Advocate in Chief, Veterans Matter
—Gemma Canevari, sixth grader and student body president at the Kaʻōhao School
The Kaʻōhao school partnered with VA to participate in the End Veteran Homelessness Challenge and won by collecting items valued at more than $3,000 to benefit the effort of ending homelessness among Veterans.
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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.