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Veterans and homelessness

Author: Libby Perl; Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service.
Publisher: [Washington, D.C.] : Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, 2007.
Series: CRS report for Congress, RL34024.
Edition/Format:   eBook : National government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
The current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have brought renewed attention to the needs of veterans, including the needs of homeless veterans. The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) estimates that it has served approximately 300 returning veterans in its homeless programs and has identified over 1,000 more as being as risk of homelessness. Both male and female veterans are overrepresented in the homeless  Read more...
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Details

Material Type: Government publication, National government publication, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Libby Perl; Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service.
OCLC Number: 144528164
Notes: "May 31, 2007."
Title from title screen (viewed June 14, 2007).
Description: 27 pages : digital, PDF file.
Details: Mode of access: World Wide Web.; System requirements: Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Series Title: CRS report for Congress, RL34024.
Responsibility: Libby Perl.

Abstract:

The current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have brought renewed attention to the needs of veterans, including the needs of homeless veterans. The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) estimates that it has served approximately 300 returning veterans in its homeless programs and has identified over 1,000 more as being as risk of homelessness. Both male and female veterans are overrepresented in the homeless population, and as the number of veterans increases due to the current wars, there is concern that the number of homeless veterans could rise commensurately. Congress has created numerous programs that serve homeless veterans specifically, almost all of which are funded through the Veterans Health Administration. These programs provide health care and rehabilitation services for homeless veterans (the Health Care for Homeless Veterans and Domiciliary Care for Homeless Veterans programs), employment assistance (Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program and Compensated Work Therapy program), transitional housing (Grant and Per Diem and Loan Guarantee programs) as well as other supportive services. Through an arrangement with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), approximately 1,000 veterans currently use dedicated Section 8 vouchers for permanent housing, with supportive services provided through the VA. These are referred to as HUD-VASH vouchers. In FY2007, it is estimated that approximately $270 million will be used to fund homeless veterans programs. Several issues regarding veterans and homelessness have become prominent, in part, because of the current conflicts. One issue is the need for permanent supportive housing for low-income and homeless veterans. With the exception of HUD-VASH vouchers, there is no source of permanent housing specifically for veterans. In FY2007, the Veterans Benefits, Health Care, and Information Technology Act (P.L. 109-461) authorized funding for additional HUD-VASH vouchers; however, they have not been funded. In the 110th Congress, S. 1084, the Homes for Heroes Act, would create no fewer than 20,000 HUD-VASH vouchers. The bill would also provide funds through HUD for the acquisition, rehabilitation, and construction of permanent supportive housing for very low-income veterans and their families. A second emerging issue is the concern that veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan who are at risk of homelessness may not receive the services they need. In the 110th Congress, S. 1384, a bill to amend Title 38 of the United States Code, would institute a demonstration program in which the VA and Department of Defense would work together to identify returning members of the armed services who are at risk of homelessness. Another emerging issue is the needs of female veterans, whose numbers are increasing. Women veterans face challenges that could contribute to their risks of homelessness. They are more likely to have experienced sexual abuse than women in the general population and are more likely than male veterans to be single parents. Few homeless programs for veterans have the facilities to provide separate accommodations for women and women with children.

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