MVFORCES: Military & Veteran Forces Blogosphere

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Overcoming Homelessness: My Experience in the VA Homeless Veterans' Program

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The VA's Homeless Veterans' Program has been instrumental in providing support and assistance to those who have struggled with homelessness. 

Through my personal experience with the program, I have seen firsthand the positive impact it can have on veterans' lives. 

In an effort to give back and help others in similar situations, I have started VETS ACTS, an initiative that aims to empower veterans facing challenges by providing them with the tools and resources necessary to become entrepreneurs and achieve independence.

My Journey

As a veteran that experienced homelessness, I had the idea for VETS ACTS while living on the streets. 

However, it wasn't until I entered the VA Homeless Veteran Program that I could turn my idea into a reality. 

After years of support and assistance from the program, including surgery and long-term treatment, I was able to improve my situation and finally make my idea come to life. 

As for its success, we shall see.

So what is the VA Homeless Veteran Program?

The VA Homeless Veteran Program is a joint effort by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to combat veteran homelessness. 

The program provides veterans experiencing homelessness with various forms of assistance, including supportive services, to help them recover and find sustainable housing. 

Together, VA providers and HUD work together to provide veterans with the information and resources they need to overcome their struggles with homelessness. 

Additionally, the program combines HUD housing vouchers with supportive services to ensure veterans can maintain permanent housing.  


I was hesitant to join the VA Homeless Veteran Program, resistant to joining despite being eligible for it. 

I believed I could get back on my feet through my own means, such as arts and crafts. 

However, being eligible for the program and actually participating in it are two different things. 

So how does VA Homeless Veteran Program work?

The program offers housing choice vouchers to eligible homeless veterans, which the local Public Housing Authority manages. 

These vouchers allow veterans to select housing units that best fit their needs. 

The VA also provides transitional housing and other supportive services to eligible veterans, as well as assistance in finding emergency shelters and community-based services. 

The program also helps veterans access their VA benefits to find permanent housing. In essence, the VA Homeless Program helps veterans in need and benefits the community by providing services that may not be readily available. 

The Right Choice

Once I joined the program, it was the best decision I could have made. 

At the time, I was unaware of my hidden injuries and conditions. 

Still, through the resources provided by the program, I discovered the truth about the severity of my injuries and how much they had been holding me back. 

On my own, I would have never uncovered the truth about the injuries and how much they played a part in keeping me homeless. 

So what are some of the resources the VA Homeless Veteran Program offers?

The program offers a wide range of support for homeless veterans, including assistance with health, housing, employment, and other necessary resources. 

It provides residential rehabilitation and cares for veterans transitioning from homelessness to permanent housing. 

It also helps veterans secure housing, find employment through work therapy and the Veterans Dental Program, and offers other health care programs such as dental treatment and transitional residence. 

This program is beneficial for veterans because it helps them access proper health care by providing access to VA hospitals and clinics and providing them with the necessary resources for securing housing or employment. 

Additionally, this program benefits the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) by providing veterans with access to transitional residences that may be more affordable than regular housing options. 

Meeting Needs

The homeless veteran program not only provided for my needs, but I got to see it also helped address the specific needs of veterans with diverse situations. 

My needs were more severe than I had initially realized, as my service-connected injuries were more extensive than anticipated and led to underlying health issues that were not immediately apparent. 

As a result, I struggled with these conditions for a long time, even after getting the program's help.

What are some more resources available from the VA Homeless Veteran Program?

The VA Homeless Veteran Program offers a variety of resources to assist homeless veterans in need. 

In addition to connecting veterans to center homeless programs and providing services through veteran-integrated care teams, the program offers counseling services such as intervention counseling and supportive services for veterans and their families. 

Partners also provide case management and supportive services to help veterans transition from homelessness to self-sufficiency. 

The program also specifically focuses on assisting homeless women veterans, as there is a lack of specialized programs for this population. 

With its support of transitional housing, counseling services, veteran care, and other resources, the VA Homeless Veteran Program is a valuable source of assistance for veterans who have served our country. 

Burdens to Bear

Being homeless and struggling to take care of myself was a heavy burden to bear. 

It took me nearly a decade to overcome the mental and emotional scars it left behind. 

For instance, I couldn't let go of my backpack, even after I had a place to live, because I feared it would be stolen. 

This is just one small example of the detrimental mindset that arises from living on the streets and trying to survive. 

How does the VA Homeless Veteran Program help with that tranistion?

The VA Homeless Veteran Program offers services to assist veterans transitioning from homelessness. 

The program connects veterans with VA case managers who can provide access to essential services, including mental health treatment, housing, healthcare, and other necessary resources. 

The program also helps incarcerated veterans by connecting them with community-based multi-agency services and outreach referrals. The program aims to promote housing stability for all veterans, regardless of their needs or circumstances. 

Through its efforts, the program has helped house over 97,000 homeless or at-risk veterans since 2010. 

Additionally, the program helps house veterans' families if needed and assists veterans in accessing VA and VA benefits. 

The program also provides supportive services such as case management to ensure veterans receive additional assistance as needed. 

Support and Success

Despite my success in achieving independence from the program, not all veterans are as lucky. 

Some may rely on the program for ongoing support for the rest of their life. 

I am grateful they have access to this aid, as it was crucial for me during my journey. 

I understand the importance of having a support system and am thankful that others have the same opportunities for assistance.

What are some of the long-term support the VA Homeless Veteran Program offers?

The VA Homeless Veteran Program offers a range of long-term support for veterans experiencing homelessness.  

The program also helps veterans access education and training programs to improve their chances of achieving long-term independent living. 

The VA Homeless Veteran Program also collaborates with other federal agencies and local organizations to provide veterans with the necessary resources to secure permanent housing solutions. 

The program's ultimate goal is to end veteran homelessness by providing services that focus on long-term, sustainable solutions. 

Giving Back

The VA Homeless Veteran Program is an outstanding initiative that is continuously striving to improve its services for veterans. 

Having personally gone through the journey from homelessness to being aided by the program, I am eager for my initiative, Vets Acts, to contribute towards better supporting those who have served our country.

VETS ACTS Community

The core of VETS ACTS is to assist veterans in becoming entrepreneurs and provide them with a sense of purpose, hope, and happiness. 

This includes giving those who are less fortunate the opportunity to engage with their community through creative activities such as arts and crafts. 

The goal of veterans' ACTS is to provide veterans who may not fully recover with the necessary tools and resources to participate in such activities and gain some sense of fulfillment.

I know I have.

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