Senate Passes Homeless Veterans Services Protection Act

Senate Passes Homeless Veterans Services Protection Act
NCHV works to protect eligibility of OTH veterans for services
Just now, the United States Senate passed S.1731, the “Homeless Veterans Services Protection Act” which will protect the eligibility for VA homeless services of homeless veterans with “Other Than Honorable” (OTH) discharges.
These veterans have been served through the Grant and Per Diem (GPD) and Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) programs since these programs were created. However, recently a legal review conducted within VA called that eligibility into question.
S.1731 would clarify the intent of Congress that the GPD, SSVF, and GPD Special Needs programs be allowed to serve these OTH veterans. NCHV applauds the work of the Senate in its passage of this crucial bill, and thanks in particular the original cosponsors of the bill: Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Mazie Hirono (D-HI). They are committed and passionate advocates for the nation’s most vulnerable heroes.
This is just the first of two hurdles to ensure legal protections for these veterans: the United States House of Representatives must pass this bill before it can go to the President for his signature and become law. NCHV strongly urges the House to do so and join the Senate in protecting those most in need of our help.

L.A. Ends Arrests of Youth Involved in Sex Trafficking




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L.A. Ends Arrests of Youth Involved in Sex Trafficking
In a move praised by advocates, Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnel announced last week that his office would no longer arrest children and youth who are involved in the sex trade. The new policy is likely to improve conditions for homeless youth, who are frequently arrested for prostitution-related offences after engaging in “survival sex,” or exchanging sex to meet basic survival needs such as to obtain for money to buy food or access housing.
Ending the arrest of youth who engage in survival sex is included among the recommendations by the Urban Institute’s 2015 report “Locked In - Interactions with the Criminal Justice and Child Welfare Systems for LGBTQ Youth, YMSM, and YWSW Who Engage in Survival Sex.”
Al Jazeera America: L.A.  ends arrests of minors trafficked into sex trade »
Judge Throws Out Boise, Idaho Camping Ordinance Lawsuit
Last month, a judge dismissed a lawsuit brought by several homeless individuals who claimed they feared being cited by the city of Boise, Idaho for violating a city ordinance that banned sleeping at night in public spaces. In his ruling, Judge Ronald E. Bush noted the plaintiffs had not shown they were unable to find space in a local shelter and faced no imminent threat of being cited.
The Department of Justice had filed a statement of interest in the case arguing that ordinances that criminalize sleeping in public, when there is insufficient shelter space available, violate the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.
Idaho Statesman: Judge dismisses lawsuit against Boise ordinance prohibiting camping in public places »
Upcoming Webinar: Understanding the Criteria and Benchmarks for Ending Veteran Homelessness
Thursday, Oct. 29, 3 to 4 p.m. EDT
On Thursday, Oct. 29, the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) will host a webinar on using new federal criteria and benchmarks to align local efforts to end veteran homelessness. Tune in to hear speakers also address the federal process for confirming your community's achievement of achieving an end to veteran homelessness.
alliance events
UPCOMING WEBINAR: MEETING THE NEEDS OF JOB SEEKERS EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS
Wednesday, Nov 4, 2 to 3:15 p.m. EDT
On Wednesday, Nov. 4, the Alliance will co-host a webinar with the Heartland Alliance on improved employment services for homeless job seekers. Join this informative hour as speakers decode The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and introduce a new WIOA Implementation Toolkit. There will also be a presentation from a community who is successfully implementing a new employment services model on the ground.

video spotlight
Webinar Video: Transforming Homeless Service Systems in Spokane, Wash.
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Resource: Identifying & Referring Veterans Experiencing Homelessness
As part of the national push to end veteran homelessness, the Alliance is highlighting relevant resources developed by the Alliance and its partners. This easy-to-follow guide from USICH, which is meant for homelessness service organizations, shelter providers, and other stakeholders, is meant to help communities:
  • Identify who among your community’s homeless population are veterans
  • Assess whether a veteran is homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless
  • Identify the kind of assistance a homeless veteran requires
Access the toolkit »
from the blog
Ending Homelessness Today
the official blog of the national alliance to end homelessness
Homelessness and Domestic Violence: What's the Connection?
by Liza Doran
In the United States, there may be as many as 10 million people who experience domestic violence every year. Unfortunately, since homelessness and domestic violence are inextricably linked, some of these households will experience homelessness.
Since October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, it’s a good time to take stock of the scope of domestic violence in America and what our shelters can do to help households fleeing abuse. This topic is important to all emergency shelters (not just domestic violence shelters), as domestic violence survivors tend to end up in a variety of shelters.
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How Can We Prevent the Sexual Exploitation of LGBT Youth?
by Liza Doran
Think about this: while approximately 5 to 7 percent of the general youth population identifies as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgender (LGBT), 9 to 45 percent of the homeless youth population does. In other words, LGBT youth are significantly more likely to be homeless than non-LGBT youth.
In addition to being over-represented among the homeless youth population, LGBT youth may also be more likely to be involved with the justice system due to arrests related to survival crimes (such as theft or sexual acts). When LGBT youth are in shelters, group homes, or foster homes, they often experience harassment or violence. As a result, they may resort to “survival sex” in order to avoid these living arrangements. (This is a term for sexual acts that are exchanged for money or goods required to meet life’s basic needs.)
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Don't Forget to Demonstrate Partnerships in your NOFA Application
by Sharon McDonald
We’re still digging through HUD’s latest CoC Program NOFA to determine what CoCs should do to secure the maximum amount of federal funds to assist homeless people.
Today, we’re looking at all the incentives spelled out in the NOFA that encourage communities to develop partnerships. HUD will base about a quarter of the points in a community’s overall “score” on the CoC’s strategic use of resources. And by “resources” HUD doesn’t just mean the CoC funds HUD is awarding; it also means the array of funding resources CoCs can access through these partnerships.
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