The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) made impressive strides in reducing homelessness among veterans. Unfortunately, in some major cities with large homeless populations such as New York City and Los Angeles numbers of homeless veterans are rising again. VA has many programs to address homelessness, but most lack permanent authorization. S. 1072 is a comprehensive bill that would seek to improve services for homeless veterans by:
Authorizing per diem payments for furnishing care for a dependent of a homeless veteran while the veteran receives services from a VA grant and per diem recipient;
Instructing VA to partner with public and private entities to provide legal services to homeless veterans and veterans at risk of homelessness;
Expanding authority of VA to provide dental care to certain eligible homeless veterans who are enrolled for care, and who are receiving housing assistance or care provided by or paid for by VA;
Permanently authorizing VA’s referral and counseling programs for veterans at risk of homelessness or transitioning from certain institutions.
Extending authority for supportive services for very low-income veteran families in permanent housing.
Requiring a GAO study of the effectiveness of VA’s homeless veterans programs’ and improvement in addressing environment of care standards for women veterans.
DAV supports this bill, in accordance with DAV Resolution No. 239, which calls for continued support and sustained and sufficient funding for VA’s initiative to eliminate homelessness and improve supportive programs by increasing its capacity for health care, specialized services for mental health, substance-use disorders as well as vision and dental care. This resolution also urges Congress to continue to authorize and appropriate funds for competitive grants to community-based and public organizations including the Department of Housing and Urban Development to provide health and supportive services to homeless veterans placed in permanent housing.
Thank you for your advocacy efforts and support of the Commander’s Action Network.