Thursday, April 30, 2009

VVA Homeless Veterans Report

March / April 2009

ANNUAL COMMITTEE REPORT:

Homeless Veterans



BY SANDY MILLER, CHAIR


HTF-1-07 Homeless Veterans as a “Special Needs Population”: To be continued. Nationally, 23-30 percent of the homeless population, or approximately 194,000, are veterans. While federal agencies acknowledge these statistics, they have yet to identify these veterans as a “special needs population.” They are due a fair share of the available federal dollars for programs and services funded in the United States.


Resolution HTF-1-07 urges the Presidential Interagency Council on Homelessness to recognize homeless veterans as a Special Needs Population. Further, we urge Congress to require all entities and agencies that receive or utilize federal program funding dollars to report statistics on the veterans they serve. Additionally, VVA supports legislation that would incorporate a fair-share dollar approach for the federal funding of homeless programs and services to specifically target homeless veterans.


HTF-4-07 Homeless Veteran HUD Transitional and Supportive Services Only Funding: To be retired.


HTF-5-07 Homeless Veteran HUD/VA Supportive Housing Funding: To be retired as fulfilled.


HTF-6-07 VA Homeless Grant and Per Diem Funding: To be continued. The VA HGPD Program is an effective tool in addressing veteran homelessness.


Resolution HTF-6-07 urges the VA HGPD Program to provide payment for services rather than the reimbursement for services it presently provides. Additionally, VVA supports and seeks legislation to establish Supportive Services Assistance Grants for VA HGPD Service Center Grant Awardees.


The committee is working on three new resolutions:


HUD Shelter Plus Care Housing Programs To Receive Supportive Service Dollars: The HUD Shelter Plus Care grants provide no funding for administrative or staffing support to provide the supportive services to veterans in Shelter Plus Care beds. HUD Supported Housing Program grants do provide for these services.


Support for Continued Funding and Oversight of the HUD/VASH Program: Continued funding for the existing HUD/VASH voucher program, as well as the proposed additional $75 million for 10,000 more vouchers, is key to ending homelessness among our nation’s veteran population. Oversight of the HUD/VASH program and its processes will be an invaluable tool in the continuance and expansion of this program.


Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program To Remain at the U.S. Department of Labor and Be Fully Funded at $50 Million: Job readiness training and reeducation are congressionally mandated functions and responsibilities of the Department of Labor.


The Homeless Veterans Committee: Sandy Miller, Chair; Marsha Four, Vice Chair; Jack Devine, Chair of Chairs. Members: Tom Berger, Pat Bessigano, Cheryl Beversdorf, Ed Chow, TP Hubert, and John Neuman. Also: Melvin Colston, Homeless Liaison; Kathleen Aylward-Barnes, Special Advisor; Suzanne Blohm-Weber, AVVA Liaison; and Jim Grissom, VSF Liaison. Staff Liaison: Sharon Hodge.
VVA.org Homeless Veterans