In support of VA Secretary Shinseki’s five year plan to end Veteran homelessness, the San Francisco VA Medical Center has teamed up with local community in the “San Francisco Homes for Heroes” campaign.
The countdown began May 9. The program’s goal is to house 50 of our area’s homeless Veterans who have a US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) voucher from prior year allocations but who have been unable to find apartments, within 100 days.
The HUD-VASH program combines rental assistance for homeless Veterans with case management and clinical services provided by the VA at VA medical centers and community-based outreach clinics. VASH vouchers offer landlords an incentive of a permanent, steady stream of income, plus a chance to make a difference in the life of a Veteran. VA case managers are available to help Veterans and landlords with any issues that may arise that could impact a Veterans’ ability to maintain their housing.
Toward that goal, SFVAMC’s Downtown Clinic (a.k.a. Comprehensive Homeless Center) has partnered with HUD, the City and County of San Francisco, including the San Francisco Housing Authority, Housing and Homeless Division of Health and Human Services, the San Francisco Mayor’s Office, Swords to Plowshares and a host of other local nonprofits and property owners, to participate in a nationwide campaign to end Veterans’ homelessness.
“The San Francisco VA Medical Center is committed to President Obama and VA Secretary Shinseki’s plan to end homelessness,” said San Francisco VA Medical Center Director Lawrence H. Carroll. “Those who have served this nation as Veterans should never find themselves on the streets, living without care and without hope. Joining together with our partners, as part of San Francisco Homes for Heroes, reinforces our unwavering commitment and dedication to caring for and housing our nation’s Veterans.”
San Francisco is one of 16 communities in the country selected to participate. “We are on board 100 percent with this national initiative to end Veteran homelessness, and confidence is high that we will achieve this goal,” said Director, San Francisco VA Comprehensive Homeless Center Jake Martin, LCSW. “We help Veterans acquire needed treatment services; opportunities to return to employment; benefits assistance; and to secure safe, affordable housing. Our partnerships with the community, agencies and property owners are making safe housing a reality for our Veterans.”
“Representatives from our Comprehensive Homeless Center and the community recently attended a regional conference to learn more about streamlining the process for identifying Veterans for VASH,” said SFVAMC’s Chief, Social Work Services Joanne Peters, LCSW. “We were shown optimal ways to determine eligibility, secure needed paperwork, find housing, work with landlords, inspect units, obtain security deposits, process rental agreements, move someone into a home and furnish it.”
The biggest obstacle identified in San Francisco is lack of housing and high rents. “In San Francisco, renting to a homeless Veteran is one of the most patriotic things you can do,” said San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee. “Veterans with a HUD-VASH voucher have been awarded a valuable asset, and it’s up to us to make sure this federal investment is put to use immediately.”
For more information about San Francisco VA’s participation in “San Francisco Homes for Heroes” campaign contact Jake Martin at Michael.email@example.com.