Homeless Programs & Initiatives
VA offers a wide array of special programs and initiatives specifically designed to help homeless veterans live as self-sufficiently and independently as possible. In fact, VA is the only Federal agency that provides substantial hands-on assistance directly to homeless persons.
Overview of Homelessness in the Veteran Population
Hotline for Homeless Veterans
VA has a National Call Center for Homeless Veterans hotline to ensure homeless Veterans or Veterans at-risk for homelessness have free, 24/7 access to trained counselors. The hotline is intended to assist homeless Veterans and their families, community agencies, service providers, and others in the community.
1-877-4AID VET (877-424-3838)
Health Care for Homeless Veterans Program (HCHV)
The HCHV program assists Veterans secure safe housing reflective of their abilities and preferences and obtain desired skill development services. Treatment goals for each Veteran are individualized and may include immediate basic needs of food and protective housing; stabilization of mental health problems including substance abuse treatment and sobriety maintenance, individual and group psychotherapy, evaluation for financial disability benefits, vocational assessment, gainful employment, and schooling or a training program.
Annual Stand Downs are opportunities for homeless Veterans to access a broad spectrum of services at one convenient location and to create a plan for re-entry into mainstream society. The event brings a wide range of specialized resources together to provide homeless Veterans with comprehensive medical and psychosocial services.
Domiciliary Care for Homeless Veterans (DCHV) Program
The DCHV Program provides medical care and rehabilitation services in a residential and therapeutic setting to eligible ambulatory Veterans challenged by medical conditions, psychiatric disorders, or physical injuries who do not need hospitalization or nursing home care. The mission is to provide an opportunity for motivated, at-risk Veterans to achieve his/her optimal level of functioning and return to independent community living. This short-term residential rehabilitation program allows Veterans to learn skills needed to live in the community and avoid a return to homelessness. Residents in the DCHV Program participate in a full range of rehabilitation services in a recovery model of care. Services include comprehensive medical and psychiatric assessments; “bio-psycho-social” treatments that include medications, psychotherapies for problems like addiction, depression, and anxiety, and social interventions such as vocational and occupational therapies; and opportunities to enhance one’s spirituality. The facility does not provide shelter-type housing; Veterans must be willing to participate in treatment activities while they are living there.
Supported Employment Program
The Supported Employment Program is designed to help disabled Veterans find and maintain competitive employment. This new model for vocational rehabilitation avoids lengthy pre-vocational assessments and shelter-type work experiences in favor of directly placing and supporting Veterans in community-based jobs tailored to individual preferences, needs, and strengths. Veterans are assigned to an employment specialist who can dedicate a significant amount of one-on-one time in the pursuit of employment, even if the Veteran prefers only a few hours of work per week, and in supporting the worker indefinitely after the hire.
Consult and Special Evaluation (CASE) Program
The CASE Program provides drop-in mental health evaluation in the Psychiatric Evaluation and Admission Clinic (PEAC); Behavioral Medicine services and Telemedicine with VA outpatient clinics. CASE also performs Compensation & Pension Exams for the VA Regional Office and Neuropsychological Testing.
Comprehensive Mental Health Program (CMHP)
CMHP provides comprehensive treatment to Veterans with serious and persistent mental illness. This program treats patients with a variety of diagnoses, which include, but are not limited to psychotic disorders, mood disorders, and behavioral problems associated with dementia disorders. Family involvement is strongly encouraged since symptoms of these illnesses greatly influence family life. CMHP is a flexible program that allows Veterans to enter the part of the program best designed to serve their individual needs.
Trauma Recovery Program (TRP)
TRP offers comprehensive treatment to Veterans with a diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or a related disorder. This program provides a wide range of services to help Veterans better manage their symptoms. TRP uses a team approach because bringing together professionals from psychiatry, nursing, social work, psychology, and other disciplines allows the program to better assess, plan for, and treat Veterans seeking assistance.
Substance Dependence & Vocational Rehabilitation Program (SDVR)
SDVR is comprised of the Substance Dependence Rehabilitation Section (SDRS) and the Vocational Rehabilitation Section (VRS). SDRS assists Veterans recovery from drug and alcohol dependence through comprehensive treatment which may include detoxification, case management, addiction education, relapse prevention skill training, support groups, social work services, health screening, referrals for medical care and/or vocational rehabilitation, psychiatric assessment and care, grief, sober seniors, women’s support groups, and certificates of successful completion. Levels of care include partial hospitalization, day and night-time schedules for low intensity and aftercare, and alumni groups. VRS is committed to assisting Veterans with psychiatric or physical disabilities reach their highest level of vocational productivity. The program helps Veterans referred by their Mental Health Care Line or rehabilitation team by providing vocational counseling, work therapy, job readiness training, job search, referrals to community resources, and the Houston VA Regional Office.
Services for Women Veterans
All VA Homeless programs serve women Veterans as well as men. In addition, our facility provides special mental health services for women including a Women’s Therapy Group and a Women’s Behavioral Health Liaison within the MEDVAMC Women’s Center that provides psychiatric evaluation and treatment. The Women Veterans Coordinators at the Veterans Outreach Centers also offer a Sexual Trauma Counseling Program (aided by the Trauma Recovery Program) and individual, group, and family counseling.
This VA Housing Program in partnership with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides permanent housing and ongoing case management treatment services for homeless Veterans who would not be able to live independently without the support of case management. HUD's Section 8 Voucher Program has designated more than 10,000 vouchers to Public Housing Authorities throughout the country for Veterans who are homeless. This program allows Veterans to live in Veteran-selected apartment units with a “Housing Choice” voucher. These vouchers are portable so Veterans can live in communities served by their VA medical facility where case management services can be provided. HUD-VASH services include outreach and case management to ensure integration of services and continuity of care. This program enhances the ability of VA to serve homeless women Veterans, as well as other targeted homeless Veterans, and their immediate families.
Veterans Benefits Assistance
Veterans Benefits Assistance at VA Regional Offices is provided by staff members who serve as points of contact for homeless Veterans. Homeless coordinators at VA regional offices provide outreach services and expedite the processing of homeless Veterans’ claims. The Homeless Eligibility Clarification Act allows eligible Veterans without a fixed address to receive VA benefits checks at VA regional offices. VA also has procedures to expedite the processing of homeless Veterans' benefits claims.
Hotline for Homeless Veterans
Toll-free 1-877-4AID VET or 1-877-424-3838
Health Care for Homeless Veterans Program
McGovern Drop-In Center for Homeless Veterans
1418 Preston Avenue, Houston, TX 77002
OEF/OIF Support Team
713-794-7034/8825/7928 or FAX 713-794-7767/7478
VA Network Telecare Center (Nurse Hotline)
This 24-hour, 7-day-a-week hotline will assist you with a wide variety of medical problems and concerns.
713-794-8985 or toll-free 1-800-639-5137
Houston VA Regional Office
6900 Almeda Road, Houston, TX 77030
713-383-1999 or toll-free 1-800-827-1000
City of Houston Help for Veterans
Texas Veterans Commission
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