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Ending Veteran Homelessness: MISSION POSSIBLE!. Brandi Jancaitis Director of Housing Development for Veterans Virginia Department of Veterans Services. Matt Leslie Associate Director of Housing Development for Veterans Virginia Department of Veterans Services. Housing Development Overview.

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Ending veteran homelessness mission possible

Ending Veteran Homelessness:MISSION POSSIBLE!

Brandi Jancaitis

Director of Housing Development for Veterans

Virginia Department of Veterans Services

Matt Leslie

Associate Director of Housing Development for Veterans

Virginia Department of Veterans Services

Housing Development Overview

  • Director and Associate Director positions – promote and coordinate an integrated system of care to end veteran homelessness and support the housing needs of Virginia Veterans across the spectrum

    • Partner with Federal VA VISNs, Medical Centers (HCHV, HUD VASH) and VA and DOL homeless services grantees in Virginia (SSVF, Non-VAMC GPD, Continuum of Care, HVRP)

    • Partner with other state agencies to decrease services barriers for Virginia Veterans (DMV, DSS, VEC, DCJS, DOC, DHCD, VDH)

    • AugmentVirginia Wounded Warrior Program (VWWP) through coordination ofhomeless/housing direct services implementation and technical assistance

    • Provide technical assistance to CoCs and other local stakeholders to end veteran homelessness

    • Work with the housing development community to ensure the availability of affordable and accessible housing

Federal Goal: End Veteran Homelessness by end of 2015

  • Collaboration between:

  • Federal

  • State

  • Local

Veterans In Virginia

  • Virginia has approximately 837,051 veterans

  • 1 in every 10 citizens is a veteran, 1 in 5 in Hampton Roads

  • By 2015 Virginia is projected to have the 5th largest veteran population in the nation

  • Virginia ranks seventh among the states in total veteran population and fourth in younger veterans (age 20 – 49)

  • Virginia has the second largest ratio of women veterans to total veterans, 16% (Nationally, females are 10% of the vet pop)

  • VDOE: nearly 230,000 children in Virginia have military ties; 75,000 school-age

Definition of a Veteran

Federal Definition (VA-Eligible): A person who “served in the active military, naval, or air service” and was not dishonorably discharged

Point-in-Time Count definition: Adults who have served on active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States, including military reserves or the National Guard that were called up to active duty regardless of discharge status.

Homeless veterans

  • Nationally, 20% of the male homeless population are veterans

  • 50% are age 51 and older, compared to 19% non-veterans

  • Veterans aged 18 to 30 are more than twice likely to be homeless compared with non-veterans of the same age

  • 1/3 of all homeless veterans served in a war zone

    • Limited evidence for associations between PTSD or combat, and subsequent homelessness

Risk factors poverty

  • Veterans have lower rates of poverty overall (than non-vets)

  • Veterans in poverty have higher rates of homelessness (than non-vets)

  • OEF/OIF service era, lower enlisted ranks account for approx 70% of homeless veterans

Risk factors behavioral health

  • 50% have a serious mental illness (26% general population)

  • 70% have a substance abuse problem (35% general population)

  • VA studies have shown that behavioral health diagnoses among OEF/OIF veterans are linked to homelessness

Risk factors military service

  • Veterans from the post-Vietnam era (men) and from most recent era (women) are at highest risk for homelessness.

  • The number of young homeless veterans is rising: 12,700 veterans of OIF/OEF/OND are homeless

Risk factors recent veterans

  • Veterans experiencing homelessness were younger, enlisted with lower pay grades, more likely to be diagnosed with mental disorders and/or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

  • OEF/OIF era veterans experienced higher homeless incidences after military separation

  • Homeless veterans, particularly women, had received disproportionately higher military sexual trauma related treatment than domiciled veterans

Secretary shinseki department of veteran affairs
Secretary Shinseki - Department of Veteran Affairs

“I learned a long time ago I couldn't solve a problem I can't see.”

Virginia statistics
Virginia Statistics

  • In 2013, 719 veterans were counted for one night during the Point-in-Time count

  • Veterans were 17% of the total homeless adults counted during the PIT

A veteran focus
A Veteran Focus

  • Target veteran specific resources - huge increases to VA homeless services (HUD VASH, SSVF, HCHV teams)

  • Offers measurable success (lower numbers)

  • Veteran strategies & best practices to improve system can be applied to overall homeless

    • Not all Veterans are eligible for VA services

  • Ability to engage public and private support from non-traditional homeless services partners (VSO’s, Home Depot Foundation)

Targeting Resources

“The right service, at the right time, using the right amount of assistance”

Prevention/Rapid Re-Housing (e.g., SSVF)

Permanent Supportive Housing (e.g., HUD VASH)

  • Potential needs

  • Financial/employment

  • Mental illness: TBI, PTSD, etc

  • Substance abuse

  • Sexual trauma

  • Physical disability

Increase the pie
“Increase the pie”

Example: Approx. 30 % of PSH is HUD –VASH (2013 HIC)

Accelerate ending veteran homelessness
Accelerate Ending Veteran Homelessness

  • Identifying and Meetings the Needs of Every Veteran

  • Faster Connections to Permanent Housing

  • Stronger Bridges to Mainstream Benefits.

(USICH, 2013)

Mission possible

  • Phoenix, AZ (December, 2013)

  • Salt Lake City, UT (January, 2014)

  • These cities focused their resources and efforts to chronically homeless veterans for measurable success!

  • Functional Zero

Identify veterans
Identify Veterans

  • Mainstream service providers should track veteran status - informs resource linkages

    • Did you serve in the United States Military?

      • If yes, were you on active duty (not reserves) after 1980 for at least 2 years or did you serve in combat? (if on active duty before 1980, 2 year requirement does not apply)

      • If yes, did you have an honorable or general discharge

  • Utilize HMIS veteran report to augment PIT count


Screen for housing instability
Screen for Housing Instability

  • In October 2012, VAMCs implemented clinical reminders to screen veterans seeking VA healthcare

    • In the past 2 months, have you been living in stable housing that you own, rent, or stay in as part of a household?

    • If not, are you worried or concerned that in the next 2 months you may not have stable housing that you own, rent, or stay in as part of a household?

      VA National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans

Focus on permanent housing
Focus on Permanent Housing

  • Housing First on system basis

  • Setting HUD-VASH and SSVF eligibility at community level rather than provider level

  • Increase efficiency of system (example: speed up HUD-VASH lease up process)

Ongoing communication between stakeholders
Ongoing Communication Between Stakeholders

  • CoC, VA and other veteran specific providers meet regularly, share data, and track veteran housing placements

    • CoC veteran subgroup focused on ending veteran homelessness

    • VA resources are viewed as community resources

    • CoC identifies veterans in need for VA programs (SSVF, HUD VASH, GPD etc.)

  • Veteran Housing Boot Camp or another kick off event to mobilize partners

    • ID take down target, streamline services

Veteran friendly system
Veteran-Friendly System

  • Housing first focused

  • Coordinated veteran outreach (Vet HelpLink at HPE in Richmond VA)

  • Navigators to decrease service barriers (VWWP Housing Resource Specialist)

Brandi Jancaitis, MPHDirector, Housing Development for VeteransVirginia Department of Veterans Services900 E. Main St. West Wing, 6th FloorRichmond, VA 23219C: [email protected]

Matt Leslie, MSW

Associate Director, Housing Development

for Veterans

Virginia Department of Veterans Services

[email protected]