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”
– 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
Who are Homeless Veterans?
• 23% of the homeless population are
• 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
Reference: http://www.nchv.org/background.cfm#facts
Who are Homeless Veterans?
• 45% suffer from mental illness
• 70% suffer from substance abuse
• 58% have health/physical problems
• 46% are age 45 or older compared
to 20% of non-Veteran homeless
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
– 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
Prevention Services
Housing and Support Services
Employment/Job Training
Benefits/Other Services
Other Resources
Prevention Services
• National Call Center for Homeless
• 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
Healthcare for Homeless Veterans
Veteran Stand Downs
Homeless Veteran Dental Assistance
Domiciliary Care for Homeless
• Drop-in Centers
Stand Downs
• Stand Downs for Homeless Veterans
– Events to provide outreach to homeless
– 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
– VA contracts with private industry and
public sector
Benefits and Other Services
• Homeless Veteran Benefit Assistance
• Property Sales for Homeless
• Excess Property for Homeless
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
• 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
Homeless Coordinator
[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
Disabled American Veterans www.dav.org
Veterans of Foreign Wars www.vfw.org
Vietnam Veterans of America
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:
• 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
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
• VA and hospice partnerships can
improve Veterans’ access to the care
and services they need at the end of

PC 04 - We Honor Veterans