The National Call Center for Homeless Veterans hotline (1-877-4AID-VET ) offers 24/7 information and assistance to veterans and their families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
The most recent homeless Point-in-Time (PIT) count data found that there are 57,849 homeless veterans in the U.S. Many other veterans are considered at risk of homelessness because of poverty, lack of support from family and friends, substance use or mental health issues, and precarious living conditions.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is the federal agency that provides hands-on assistance directly to veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. In 2009, VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki announced the federal government's goal to end veteran homelessness by 2015. The VA is working with other federal agencies and partners in communities across the country, including state departments of Veterans Affairs, nonprofit organizations, Veterans Service Organizations, and faith-based organizations, to reach this goal.
The VA website contains a summary of some of the specific programs available through the VA to address the housing, employment, health, and behavioral healthcare needs of veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Some of these include:
- The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) Program, a joint effort between HUD and VA to move veterans out of homelessness and into permanent supportive housing. HUD provides housing assistance through its Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program, and the VA offers clinical and supportive services through its health care system.
- The Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) Program provides grants and technical assistance - provided by TAC and its partner Abt Associates - to community-based nonprofit organizations to help veterans and their families stay in their homes. The SSVF Program in the first two years served nearly 100,000 veterans and their family members, and 85 percent of those exiting the program had permanent housing.
- The Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem Program provides grants and per diem payments as funding is available to help public and nonprofit organizations establish and operate supportive housing for homeless veterans. Beginning in 2012, the program began awarding more than 80% of its new grant funds to organizations using a 'Transition in Place' model whereby veterans receive temporary assistance and take over payment of a lease instead of moving out after using VA services up to 24 months.
Supportive Services for Veterans Families (SSVF) University - a resource for SSVF grantees seeking to develop, implement, and/or improve their programs.
VA Homeless Veteran Home Page