To help homeless veterans and prevent them from experiencing homelessness, there needs to be a coordinated effort. Affordable housing, basic health care needs, and mental health counseling must be provided. Additionally, job training or job placement assistance is crucial to veterans, who can be at a disadvantage when competing for jobs. Their military occupations and training are not always transferable to civilian workforce.
Fortunately, the veteran population has access to unique benefits provided by the federal government. Since 1987, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) programs for homeless veterans has emphasized collaboration with community service providers to help expand services to veterans in crisis.
Each year, the VA provides health care and services to hundreds of thousands of homeless and at-risk veterans. The key is to make sure homeless veterans are connected with these benefits and have access to additional support as needed.
Since 2009, the federal government has made ending veteran homelessness a major objective. New allocated funding provides emergency financial assistance and housing vouchers (money to pay rent) for veterans. Many communities unite to help homeless veterans. By aligning with and deploying new federal resources, they aim for a goal of “functional zero”. To reach “functional zero” means the number of homeless veterans in your community is no greater than the average monthly housing placement rate for veterans.
Here are a few examples of things you can do:
Learn more—read “4 Ways to Help Homeless People.”
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