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HUD Releases Toolkits on Strategies to End Veteran Homelessness

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has developed four new toolkits aimed at helping homeless Continuums of Care (CoCs) and homeless services providers working with veterans to implement strategies to assist them in reaching the goal of ending Veteran homelessness. The toolkits identify best practices, key strategies, action items, and considerations for CoCs, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) partners, and local public officials that can be implemented immediately to focus efforts on ending homelessness among Veterans. Each toolkit includes a section for mayors and elected officials with methods and action steps that can be employed to end Veteran homelessness, as well as complete lists of resources, documents, and links to key websites highlighting best practices. The four toolkit topics are:

  • Identifying and Engaging Veterans Experiencing Homelessness: This Toolkit provides information for CoC stakeholders, practitioners, and public officials on the use of data and analytics, as well as outreach tactics to locate and engage veterans who may be homeless. The toolkit also includes information on the creation of a By-Name list and utilization of coordinated entry in an effective crisis response and referral system. Key strategies to collaborate across systems and teams are detailed, along with ways that communities can sustain the effort with flexible systems.
  • Effective Homeless Crisis Response Systems for Veterans: This Toolkit provides information for CoC stakeholders, practitioners, and public officials concerning concepts and practices central to an effective homeless crisis response system for veterans. Key components, strategies, and related resources to strengthen homeless crisis response systems are reviewed.
  • Connecting to Permanent Housing: This Toolkit is intended to help CoC stakeholders, practitioners, and public officials to broaden and strengthen their connections and access to safe, decent, and affordable permanent housing for veterans experiencing homelessness. It includes key features and strategies to develop and maintain housing partnerships to expedite veterans in finding housing. These include private market and landlord engagement strategies, special considerations for VA and non-VA mainstream housing programs, and resources for rural and high cost/low vacancy communities. The toolkit also includes considerations for public officials involved in local efforts toward ending homelessness among veterans.
  • Housing Stability: This Toolkit provides information for CoC stakeholders, practitioners, and public officials concerning the concept of housing stability and related practices. Key strategies, action steps, and related resources that support housing stability among veterans are reviewed, including services and resources that increase veteran income.

These new resources are now available on the HUD Exchange and were developed as part of HUD's Vets@Home technical assistance (TA) effort, which aims to help CoCs meet the goal established in Opening Doors of ending veteran homelessness by December 31, 2015. TAC is one of three organizations leading this TA effort in collaboration with HUD.