United States Interagency Council on Homelessness - No on should experience homelessness. No one should be without a safe, stable place to call home.
September 4, 2013

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By Sarah Mahin, Regional Coordinator for the SSVF program


The Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) is VA's new rapid re-housing and homelessness prevention program, which draws upon the strength of community agencies to provide focused, speedy, and flexible services to vulnerable Veterans and their families. In FY 2012, SSVF's first year of operations, VA awarded competitive grants totaling nearly $60 million to 85 grantees across the country who in turn provide supportive services to very low-income Veteran families living in or transitioning to permanent housing. A recent report about SSVF's first year reveals promising data on the effectiveness of the programs.   



HUD & VA Announce New Vouchers to Assist Veterans Experiencing Homelessness

The U.S.  Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs have announced the second round of HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) funding to local public housing agencies across the U.S. and Puerto Rico. The $7.8 million will provide housing and clinical services for 1,120 Veterans who are currently experiencing homelessness. 



Ending Veterans' Homelessness:
A Message to CoCs and Ten-Year
Plan Leaders

By Barbara Poppe, Executive Director of the US Interagency Council on Homelessness


We have fewer than 900 days to solve Veterans' homelessness; every day and every minute counts. The President has led this effort, and Congress has supported his initiatives. This is about us--our willingness to roll our sleeves up, get our knuckles in the dirt, and drive down the number of street dwelling homeless Veterans.

In central Texas, they have a saying: "You can't wring your hands and roll you sleeves up at the same time." You can do one or the other, and at VA and in this coalition, we have rolled our sleeves up. We have made progress, but it simply isn't good enough for those Veterans who need and await our help.

I am reaching out to ask, are we doing everything we can do to prevent and end homelessness among Veterans by 2015?




TUNE IN: Webinar Series for Programs Serving Vets Experiencing Homelessness


USICH and the 
National Coalition for Homeless Veterans have teamed up to produce a series of webinars
called "Opening Doors to Innovation." The series was created to share information on effective practices for delivering
 placement services and strategies to increase housing-retention rates among Veterans who experience homelessness.    

Webinar topics include: 

In Indian Country, Serving Those
Who Have Served


By Karen R. Diver, Chairwoman, Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa


The first Veteran's Supportive Housing project to be located on Native American tribal homelands had its grand opening last month on the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa reservation. The building features ten units for single Veterans experiencing homelessness. Native Americans have consistently had the highest per capita service rates of any group in the country, which makes this accomplishment particularly noteworthy.



President Obama Highlights Housing Policy in Recent Address


In a speech last month, President Obama firmly stated that no one in America-particularly no Veteran-should be "left to live on the street." The speech, called "A Better Bargain for the Middle Class: A Home to Call Your Own," focused on housing policy. The President noted reductions in homelessness nationally and in the city of Phoenix, highlighting that Phoenix is on track to end chronic homelessness among Veterans by 2014. He praised Mayor Stanton's leadership and the strong partnerships across the community and with the United Way. President Obama called on cities and states to invest in affordable rental housing and to address local barriers that drive up rents.


A Better Bargain for the Middle Class: A Home to Call Your Own
A Better Bargain for the Middle Class: A Home to Call Your Own


"A home is more than just a house, it's a source of pride and security" - President Obama  

Connect with Healthcare Navigators in Your Community


The Obama Administration is working to ensure that vulnerable and low-income populations receive education and assistance in enrolling in Medicaid and other health insurance through the marketplace. Towards that end, the Administration just announced $67 million in grants to 105 Navigator applicants who will provide education and assistance around their health insurance options through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This builds upon previous grant awards provided to community health centers to provide education, outreach, and enrollment assistance. Communities working to end homelessness should visit HealthCare.gov to learn more about how to connect with these selected Navigators and community health centers.  Stay tuned in the coming weeks as more information on how to fully leverage the ACA's opportunities to end and prevent homelessness will be posted on www.usich.gov.

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The adage, "It takes a village" has been applied to a lot of different efforts
over the years to the point of over-use. However, when it comes to ending homelessness among Veterans by 2015, there is probably no better descriptor for what is needed and what is being done. 



Atlanta's work shows how an engaged team can leverage the 100-day challenge from a Rapid Results Boot Camp to bring in meaningful partners. It can energize an entire community while building momentum so the work goes past the 100 days and becomes a cultural shift for everyone working in the system






Randle Loeb, a Denver-based advocate for people experiencing homelessness, writes about the importance of navigators and peer mentors.




HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan discusses the importance of the Affordable Care Act and the opportunities it provides for the people HUD serves.
In her recent message, "Collaborating to Combat Homelessness Among Veterans,"  Ann Marie Oliva, the Director of the Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs, discusses an innovative relationship between HUD, VA, and USICH called Solving Veterans Homelessness as One. 


Another recent SNAPS Weekly Focus message covered Adopting a Housing First Approach.
Ending Homelessness Through the Housing Choice Voucher and Public Housing Programs 
HUD's Office of Community Planning and Development has produced a webinar entitled, "Ending Homelessness Through the Housing Choice Voucher and Public Housing Programs." In the webinar, HUD staff present information related to a recent notice providing Public Housing Agencies with strategies for documenting and housing individuals and families experiencing homelessness. 


Call for Presentations
Organizers of the second national Housing First Partners Conference are soliciting proposals for presentations. 
The conference, which is presented by DESC and Pathways to Housing, will be held March 12-14, 2014 at the Swissotel in Chicago, Illinois. 
Presentation proposals should address both demonstrated impacts on clients' recovery/quality of life and the need for systems-level changes. 
The deadline for submissions is October 4, 2013.
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