National Coalition For Homeless Veterans - New York State

New York State

The VA has a large branch in New York State that offer a wide variety of programs and resources for homeless veterans in the state. Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV) is the central program which provides extensive support such as supported housing systems, physical and psychiatric exams, Drop-In-Centers, treatment, referrals and other services. Over 135 HCHV sites are operating in New York State currently, making it the largest arm of the NYSVA. Domiciliary Care for Homeless Veterans (DCHV) is the next largest branch and offers its services to homeless veterans who suffered some health problem but do not need to be hospitalized for an extended period of time. In addition to these programs, the NYSVA gives over 17 billion dollars a year to disabled veterans in need, which becomes the primary source of income for many veterans and enables them to combat homelessness.

Three of the smaller programs available for homeless veterans are Inpatient and Outpatient Health Care, Readjustment Counseling Centers, and Outreach. Inpatient and Outpatient Health Care is simply the VA centers providing health services for veterans in-house. The Outpatient portion is provided by hospitals and clinics that can provide veterans out of house with most treatments, whether it be physical or mental injuries or illnesses, such as alcohol and substance abuse treatment or rehabilitation treatment. Readjustment Counseling Centers, also known as Vet Centers, assist veterans through community outreach. Services such as individual, group or family counseling are offered to help veterans overcome psychological problems they may be experiencing with are inadvertently causing their homelessness or preventing them from taking care of themselves. Finally, Outreach simply consists of staff from the many VA offices regularly visiting shelters and community centers where veterans are to do all they can to help improve their lives.

Many cities in upstate New York have launched initiatives on this front via cooperation between Syracuse's branch of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development and The VA. Since the VA was created in 2008, permanent housing has been provided for around 329 homeless veteran out of the estimated 131,000 that can be found on any given night in America. New York, Florida, Texas, California, and Oregon together contain around half of these homeless veterans. Housing Authorities in cities such as Rome, Albany, Syracuse, Rochester and Amherst, have all been steadily increasing the number of homeless veterans put in permanent housing in the past year. The joint collaboration is known as HUD's Veteran Affairs Supportive Housing Program, or HUD-VASH Program. HUD-VASH reaches homeless veterans through local Veteran Affairs Medical Centers, which are located in all the aforementioned cities. Vouchers are then provided to local housing agencies to be distributed to homeless veterans based on need and prevalence. These veterans rent privately owned housing while only devoting 30% of their income to the rent: HUD-VASH covers the rest.

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