Homeless Veterans Programs

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Are you, or a veteran you know at risk of becoming homeless? VA has many benefits and services to assist homeless veterans. 

One-third of adult homeless men and nearly one-quarter of all homeless adults have served in the armed forces. It has been estimated that more than 200,000 veterans may be homeless on any given night and that twice as many veterans experience homelessness during a year. Many other veterans are considered at risk because of poverty, lack of support from family and friends and precarious living conditions in overcrowded or substandard housing. 

Veterans who are homeless or at imminent risk of homelessness are strongly encouraged to contact the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans at (877) 4AID-VET (877-424-3838) for assistance. Those without access to a phone or internet should visit their closest VA medical center 

VA has several programs to help veterans who are homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless.

VA Homeless Programs

VA's Health Care for Homeless Veterans Program (HCHV) operates at 133 sites, where extensive outreach, physical and psychiatric health exams, treatment, referrals and ongoing case management are provided to homeless veterans with mental health problems, including substance abuse. This program assesses more than 40,000 veterans annually.

VA's Domiciliary Care for Homeless Veterans (DCHV) Program provides medical care and rehabilitation in a residential setting on VA medical center grounds to veterans disabled by medical or psychiatric disorders, injury or age and who do not need hospitalization or nursing home care. The program has more than 1,800 beds at 34 sites. Besides offering medical care and shelter, the program offers physical screening and assessment; vocational counseling and rehabilitation; and post-discharge community support.

Veterans Benefits Assistance at VA Regional Offices is provided by designated staff members who serve as coordinators and points of contact for homeless veterans. There is a homeless coordinator at every VA office and medical center. They provide outreach services and help expedite the processing of homeless veterans' claims. The program also allows homeless veterans who have no fixed address or bank to receive their benefit payments. 

Acquired Property Sales for Homeless Providers Program makes properties VA obtains through foreclosures on VA home loans available for sale to homeless providers at a discount.

Veterans Industry/Compensated Work-Therapy (CWT) and Compensated Work-Therapy/Transitional Residence (TR) Programs   Through its CWT and TR programs, VA offers structured work opportunities and supervised therapeutic housing for at-risk and homeless veterans with physical, psychiatric and substance abuse disorders. VA contracts with private industry and the public sector for work by these veterans, who learn new job skills, re-learn successful work habits and regain a sense of self-esteem and self-worth. Veterans are paid for their work and, in turn, make a payment toward maintenance and upkeep of the residence.

VA's National Cemetery Administration and Veterans Health Administration, a program that gives formerly homeless veterans job opportunities at VA cemeteries.

HUD-VA Supported Housing (VASH) Program, a joint program with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), provides permanent housing and ongoing treatment to homeless mentally ill veterans and those suffering from substance abuse disorders.  The program places homeless veterans into Section 8 housing.

VA's Supported Housing Program allows VA personnel to help homeless veterans secure long-term transitional or permanent housing. 

Stand Downs are one-to three-day events that provide homeless veterans a variety of services and allow VA and community-based service providers to reach more homeless veterans. Stand downs give homeless veterans a temporary refuge where they can obtain food, shelter, clothing and a range of community and VA assistance. In many locations, stand downs provide health screenings, referral and access to long-term treatment, benefits counseling, ID cards and access to other programs to meet their immediate needs. 

VA Excess Property for Homeless Veterans Initiative provides federal excess personal property, such as clothing, footwear, sleeping bags, blankets and other items, to homeless veterans. This program also employs formerly homeless veterans to receive, warehouse and ship these goods to homeless programs across the country that assist veterans.

The Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem Program provides grants to help public and nonprofit organizations establish and operate new supportive housing and service centers for homeless veterans. Grant funds may also be used to purchase vans to conduct outreach or provide transportation for homeless veterans.

Project CHALENG (Community Homelessness Assessment, Local Education and Networking Groups) for Veterans is a nationwide initiative in which VA works with other federal, state and local agencies and nonprofit organizations to assess the needs of homeless veterans. 

Getting help: If you, or a veteran you know, are at risk of homelessness contact VA’s National Call Center for Homeless Veterans at 877-4AID-VET (877-424-3838) or visit their website.

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