From the Department of Housing and Urban Development
The HUD-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program combines HUD’s housing choice vouchers, administered by public housing authorities (PHAs), with VA case management to offer homeless veterans permanent supportive housing. The HUD-VASH Exit study, commissioned by HUD and VA, investigated HUD-VASH at four sites: Houston, TX; Los Angeles and Palo Alto, CA; and Philadelphia, PA. The study examined program implementation, the movement of veterans from homelessness to being housed, and the nature of veterans’ exits from HUD-VASH.
To do this, the research team analyzed administrative data covering 2008 to 2014 at the four sites, and surveyed veterans and conducted site visits (including interviews with staff and veterans) between 2011 and 2014. As such the study captures HUD-VASH during a time of transformation.
In 2008, HUD-VASH served fewer than 2,000 veterans. By 2014, HUD-VASH was a major program that housed 53,000 veterans and had served more than 80,000 veterans. The study defined three HUD-VASH veteran groups: (1) stayers (veterans in the program for at least 600 days), (2) leased-up exiters (veterans who exited after leasing up), and (3) nonleased exiters (veterans who exited before accessing housing). “Exit” was defined as leaving VA case management as recorded in VA administrative data by case managers.
The study finds that about half of the leased-up exiters left HUD-VASH for positive reasons such as accomplishing their goals or increased income, but that only a quarter of nonleased exiters had positive reasons for exit. Common negative reasons for exit included housing difficulties, loss of contact with the program, illness, incarceration, and non-compliance with program rules. Specific recommendations to ensure continued program effectiveness converge around (1) improving coordination of HUD and VA processes in HUD-VASH sites; (2) targeting financial resources for specific situations such as move-in, threat of eviction, and transitioning out of HUD-VASH; and (3) ensuring continuity of care for veterans in the program.
Continuing resolution and ongoing negotiation mark end of FY 2017
The end of the month of September marks the end of the 2017 fiscal year for the federal government, and with it the deadline for funding decisions on Fiscal Year 2018 program levels. As has become customary, Congress has been unable to complete this work by the deadline and has passed a “continuing resolution” or “CR” to extend the deadline. This particular CR, H.R. 601, has given Congress until Dec. 8 of this year to finish their work. In the meantime, programs will be flat funded at the levels they received in FY 2017 until this new deadline, or until Congress finalizes the new numbers – whichever comes first.
Fortunately, they are steadily progressing in their work for VA’s Homeless Programs and other related federal programs aimed at ending and preventing veteran homelessness. There are three individual appropriations bills that are concerned with these programs, nearly all of which have completed the committee process in both houses.* The only exception is the bill which governs HVRP funding, and which has not completed the committee process in the Senate.
Here are the proposed numbers in both houses, as compared to the numbers of the President’s budget request of several months ago:
Grant and Per Diem
Supportive Services for Veteran Families
HUD-VA Supportive Housing
Homeless Veteran Reintegration Program
NCHV supports the Senate proposed numbers in every case. The need for more HUD-VASH vouchers is seen in many of the communities you work in, especially when it comes to the creation of new affordable housing through project basing of these vouchers. The SSVF program is in need of an infusion of funds to the tune of $400m this year in order to prevent the expiration of the 2015 surge grants, but the additional funds seen in the Senate numbers will go a long way towards preventing that expiration in many communities. Likewise, the Senate numbers for HVRP are not perfect – NCHV supports, at the minimum, funding that program at its fully authorized level of $50m.
This will come down to negotiations between the House and Senate. It is imperative that we all encourage Congress to accept the numbers proposed by the Senate committee. NCHV will be there to make your voice heard in the negotiations, and update you as these events unfold. Stay tuned to these pages, and to our eNewsletters and website, to make sure you are up to date on what is happening on the Hill. If you are a member, a more in depth write up of this issue will appear in the September/October issue of our print newsletter.
NCHV Supports Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week
Engage in campaign in your community
Each November, the week before Thanksgiving, hundreds of thousands take part in activities ranging from food drives to sleep outs to raise awareness of the ongoing tragedies of hunger and homelessness.
This amazing event was first held at Villanova University in 1975. Today, the National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Student Campaign Against Hunger & Homelessness co-sponsor the annual week.
For more information, resources, and ways to get involved, visit hhweek.org.
September is Suicide Prevention Month
Be There for veterans in crisis
We all can take action to help prevent suicide, but many people don’t know what they can do to support a veteran in their life who’s going through a difficult time. During Suicide Prevention Month and year-round, help the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) let people know that preventing suicide starts with this simple act of support: Be There.
You don’t need to make a grand gesture: A simple act of kindness shows you care. You can call up an old friend, check in on a neighbor, cook someone dinner, or invite a colleague on a walk. You can also encourage veterans to take time for themselves and to focus on their own health and wellness.
To access VA's Suicide Prevention Month resources year round, click here.
NCHV's Facebook and Twitter pages have featured content for Suicide Prevention Month throughout September. Be sure to like and follow us and engage with our content to spread our shared mission!
The Cleveland Foundation offers grants for tax-exempt agencies in the Greater Cleveland area. Organizations wishing to apply must create a profile and a grant inquiry. The Foundation focuses on the areas of education, health and human services, economic development, and arts and culture. For more information, click here.
The Wawa Foundation offers financial grants for nonprofit organizations in the areas of health, hunger, and "everyday heroes". The Foundation focuses its giving to organizations serving Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, Maryland, and Florida. Applications are reviewed quarterly. For more information, click here.
This eNewsletter is funded in part by a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.
For the latest news, resources and grant information, visit our website at www.nchv.org.
National Coalition for Homeless Veterans
1730 M Street NW
Washington, DC 20036
202-546-1969 or toll-free 1-800-VET-HELP