Finding Aid for Homeless Veterans
When facing seemingly overwhelming issues it can be hard to find the will to start. Homelessness can be one such daunting issue, one that can be hard to unpack and even harder to address. Fortunately, there are volunteers and organizations all over the country who are dedicated to help veterans deal with this issue. These organizations range in size and scope and there are so many that it can be hard to sift through them all. Before diving in, make sure you have the following on hand:
DETERMINE WHAT KIND OF HELP YOU NEED - Knowing what type of help you need will help you narrow down the organizations you need to reach out to. Be able to clearly explain what you need help with to get the quickest and most personalized support.
COLLECT RELEVANT DOCUMENTATION AND INFORMATION - This can include discharge documentation, service dates, or other identifying information that organizations need to work with you. Make sure to have budget and financial information available, so you can demonstrate your need.
EVALUATE AVAILABLE SUPPORT GROUPS - There are dozens of groups in any given region that you can reach out to. Make sure they provide the type of assistance you’re looking for and that you’re eligible for their assistance. In order to help with the last step, we have assembled some information to help you get started with your search. First, always start with your local Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital. Here you can receive medical assessments while also being directed to the best local resources to help locate permanent housing. Currently, the VA is partnered with the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Veterans Affairs Supporting Housing Program (HUD-VASH) which provides vouchers designed to help veterans at risk of homelessness or experiencing it with financial assistance to acquire secured homes (more on that later). Your next step should be to connect with a local housing agency. These are agencies that help set up affordable housing within your area. These agencies not only are able to connect you with direct assistance but can also put you in contact with organizations that have local presences and want to support you. Beyond these agencies, perform some basic research on you city or state to see if there is a local group that focuses on homeless veterans. Finally, there are some well know organizations that may be able to help, including:
All of the groups listed above offer a variety of services designed to help homeless veterans. These include things such as financial assistance to secure housing, financial advising, and other forms of counseling. Make sure to have the documentation mentioned above on hand if you choose to reach out to any of these organizations. Homelessness is a manageable issue with the right resources and people on your side and they are here and waiting to help.