Homeless Veterans; What Programs Are Being Put in Place to Help

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BSHS441: ADVOCACY AND MEDIATION
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Veterans and Homelessness: What programs are being put in place to help.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have brought renewed attention to the needs of veterans, including the needs of homeless veterans. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) reported that in FY2008 it assessed more than 1,500 veterans who served in the Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom theater of operations for participation in its Health Care for Homeless Veterans Program. Both male and female veterans have been over represented in the homeless population, and as the number of veterans increases due to these conflicts, there is concern that the number of homeless veterans could rise commensurately.

The current economic downturn also has raised concerns that homelessness could increase among all groups, including veterans. Congress has created numerous programs that serve homeless veterans specifically, almost all of which are funded through the Veterans Health Administration. These programs provide health care and rehabilitation services for homeless veterans (the Health Care for Homeless Veterans and Domiciliary Care for Homeless Veterans programs), employment assistance (Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program and Compensated Work Therapy program), transitional housing (Grant and Per Diem program) as well as other supportive services. The VA also works with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to provide permanent supportive housing to homeless veterans through the HUD-VA Supported Housing Program (HUD-VASH).

In the HUD-VASH program, HUD funds rental assistance through Section 8 vouchers while the VA provides supportive services. In addition, two newly enacted programs focus on homelessness prevention through supportive services: the VA's Supportive Services for…...

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