Homeless Veterans
at Life’s End
Military History Toolkit
Produced by the
Veterans Advisory Council
A taskforce of the National Hospice and
Palliative Care Organization
Definition of Homelessness
• Public law 100-77 “the McKinney Act”
(1987)
– A homeless person is one who lacks a fixed,
regular and adequate nighttime residence; and
– who has a primary nighttime residence that is
• a supervised publicly or privately operated shelter,
• a temporary residence for individuals intended to be
institutionalized, or
• a public or private place not ordinarily used as a
regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.
The Statistics
• VA estimates that 107,000 Veterans are
homeless on any given night
• Over the course of a year, approximately
twice that many experience homelessness.
• Only eight percent of the general
population can claim Veteran status, but
nearly one-fifth of the homeless
population are Veterans.
• About 1.5 million Veterans are considered
at risk of homelessness
Causes of Veteran Homelessness
• Shortage of affordable housing,
livable income and limited access to
health care
• Lingering effects of Post Traumatic
Stress Disorder (PTSD)
• Substance abuse
• Lack of family and social support
networks
Who are Homeless Veterans?
• 23% of the homeless population are
Veterans
• 13% of all sheltered homeless adults
are Veterans
• 47% of homeless Veterans served
during the Vietnam Era
• 33% were stationed in a war zone
• 89% received an honorable
discharge
Reference: http://www.nchv.org/background.cfm#facts
Who are Homeless Veterans?
• 45% suffer from mental illness
• 70% suffer from substance abuse
problems
• 58% have health/physical problems
• 46% are age 45 or older compared
to 20% of non-Veteran homeless
citizens
Reference: http://www.nchv.org/background.cfm#facts
VA Homeless Programs
• Every VA medical center has a homeless
Veteran services coordinator who is
responsible for providing outreach and
services for homeless or at-risk Veterans
• National Call Center for Homeless
Veterans
– 1-877-4AID-VET (1-877-424-3838)
• Homeless Veterans Chat links to Veterans
Suicide Prevention Hotline
– www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/Veterans/Default.aspx
Reference: www.va.gov/homeless
VA Homeless Programs
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•
•
•
•
•
Prevention Services
Housing and Support Services
Treatment
Employment/Job Training
Benefits/Other Services
Other Resources
www.va.gov/HOMELESS
Prevention Services
• National Call Center for Homeless
Veterans
• Healthcare for Reentry
• Veteran Justice Outreach
• Supportive Services for Veteran
Families Program
Housing and Support Services
• HUD – VA Supported Housing
Program (VASH)
• Grant & Per Diem
• Supported Housing
Treatment
Healthcare for Homeless Veterans
Veteran Stand Downs
Homeless Veteran Dental Assistance
Domiciliary Care for Homeless
Veterans
• Drop-in Centers
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•
•
•
Stand Downs
• Stand Downs for Homeless Veterans
– Events to provide outreach to homeless
Veterans
– Coordinated among local VA Medical Centers,
other government agencies and community
agencies serving the homeless
• For locations of Stand Downs
– www.va.gov/HOMELESS/StandDown.asp
– Homeless Veterans Programs Office: 202-4617401
Employment/Job Training
• Compensated Work
Therapy/Transitional Residence
(CWT/TR) Program
– For disadvantaged, at-risk, and
homeless Veterans
– Community-based supervised group
homes
– VA contracts with private industry and
public sector
Benefits and Other Services
• Homeless Veteran Benefit Assistance
• Property Sales for Homeless
Providers
• Excess Property for Homeless
Veterans
How can you help?
• Support emergency shelters
• Volunteer as mentors, counselors or
legal aide
• Raise funds for programs
• Volunteer at Stand Down programs
• Develop Homeless Veteran Burial
Programs
• Partner with your local VA to ensure
Veterans can access hospice services
Where to find help
• National Coalition for Homeless Veterans
– Phone: 1-800-VET-HELP
– Email: [email protected]
– Website: www.nchv.org
• VA Medical Centers
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–
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Homeless Coordinator
www.va.gov/homeless
[email protected]
Phone 1-877-222-VETS
• State Director of Veterans Affairs
– Website: www.va.gov/statedva.htm
Where to Find Help
• Veterans Service Organizations and
Auxiliary Organizations (VSOs)
AMVETS www.amvets.org
Blinded Veterans Association
www.bva.org
Disabled American Veterans www.dav.org
Veterans of Foreign Wars www.vfw.org
Vietnam Veterans of America
www.vva.org
Where to Find Help
• Veteran Homestead Hospice, Fitchburg,
MA – a unique program providing
hospice care to homeless Veterans in a
residential, homelike setting
• Website: http://Veteranhomestead.org
• To view video:
http://Veteranhomestead.org/video/LiveDieDignity.html
PROJECT CHALENG
• Project CHALENG (Community
Homelessness Assessment, Local
Education and Networking Groups)
• Launched in 1994 by VA
• Designed to enhance the continuum
of care for homeless Veterans
provided by the local VA and its
surrounding community service
agencies
Ref: www.va.gov/homeless/chaleng.asp
A Parting Word-Please Remember
• All VA enrolled Veterans are entitled
to VA payment of hospice care across
all settings regardless of their service
connection
• VA and hospice partnerships can
improve Veterans’ access to the care
and services they need at the end of
life
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PC 04 - We Honor Veterans