LA Democratic Party Adopts Permanent Independent Living Resolution for Homeless Veterans…
First, I want to thank Korean War Veteran, LA Planning Commissioner, and State of California Democratic Party Delegate Joe Halper for his commitment in Advocating to end homelessness among Veterans… Set forth below the photo in pertinent part is the Resolution for permanent independent living for Veterans.
“Provide Permanent Supportive Housing with robust individualized and comprehensive services to promote independent living leading to an early return to the community life, avoiding more expensive institutions such as jails, hospitals, and homeless shelters.”
Be it further resolved, that the Los Angeles County Democratic Party send a copy of this resolution to Congressmember Henry Waxman, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, the Secretary of Defense and the California Democratic Party.
Author: Joe Halper, 50″^ AD
Passed LACDP Resolutions Committee 6/4/13
Writer’s Note: All Americans and Veterans and their Family Members please tell Congress to Appropriate 70,000 HUD-VASH Section 8 Housing Vouchers to end homelessness for the estimated 70,000 homeless Veterans Nationwide… At only 7,000 to 10,000 Housing Vouchers currently being appropriated annually by Congress it will take 7 to 10 years/2020 to 2023 to end homelessness for Veterans which means that the Obama plan to end the homelessness for Veterans by 2015 cannot be met…
After reading my several stories on the “Housing First Initiative”, in mid-April of 2013, LA Planning Commissioner and Korean War Veteran Joe Halper who is also a Delegate to the State of California Democratic Party in an effort to Advocate for homeless Veterans was planning to bring forth a Resolution at the State Democratic Convention that month, asked me for my further advice on why HUD-VASH Section 8 Independent Housing rather than the building of Veterans Homes would do more to end homelessness among Veterans in Los Angeles and Nationwide… My response to Halper is set forth below.
Also set forth below at the end of this story are the links to all my “Housing First Initiative” stories and why Permanent Independent Housing First rather than building Veterans Homes on VA or other Government Property, or shuffling homeless Veterans from “Grant Per Diems” transitional housing will end homelessness among Veterans…
Housing First ends homelessness. It’s that simple. And I am not talking about Transitional Housing like VA Domiciliaries, New Directions, U.S. Vets, Vet to Vet, Salvation Army, etc., OR even Veterans Homes on any VA or other Government Property where Veterans are subjected to Curfews, Substance Abuse Tests, Inspections, unable to have overnight guests, sharing bathrooms or living rooms, or no doors to their sleeping areas… I am talking HUD-VASH Section 8 Affordable Permanent Housing with a year to year lease /30% of income or FREE for No income Veterans with a, Private Livingroom, No Inspections …
What does “Supportive Housing Mean??? “Supportive Housing” means that Substance Abuse and Mental Health Treatment Programs are Optional to the Veteran and available to the Veteran upon request on an Outpatient basis…
Housing First ends homelessness. It’s that simple. This level of success was unprecedented in the USA. Nothing could match the rate at which “Pathways Housing First” (PHF) ended enduring homelessness and promoted housing stability among people with severe mental illness and problematic drug and alcohol use. The founder of the PHF service in New York, Sam Tsemberis, described the key success of PHF in very simple terms:
Services must respect the basic human need for privacy.
Service users like HUD-VASH Section 8 must have their own rental contract/tenancy.
Permanent housing is the base that allows other problems to be solved.
Allowance of alcohol consumption.
Separation of housing and services.
Individually tailored services based on needs assessment.
An emphasis on permanent not temporary solutions.
Existing shelters and dormitories are inadequate and must be replaced by supported housing units.
Housing First ‘Light’ (HFL) services are those services which follow, or which reflect, the PHF model but which offer significantly less intensive support services and are more heavily reliant on case management. There is no requirement to stay in a hostel, staircase service or any other form of communal accommodation, or to be made ‘housing ready’, before being given access to housing.
HFL services give each individual service user a single key-worker, who may provide practical advice and some emotional support but whose main role is as a case manager, arranging access to the externally provided treatment and support that each homeless individual or household needs. HFL services do not directly provide medical, psychiatric or drug and alcohol services. As with PHF, housing and support are separated, there is no requirement for abstinence, no requirement for compliance with treatment and a harm reduction approach is followed. HFL services can be used for chronically homeless people, but it can also be employed for homeless people with lower support needs who need less assistance to sustain a tenancy.
Veterans Homes for the 10,000 Vets in LA County or 20,000 in Greater Los Angeles (GLA) would take several years to build and 80% of these Vets say they DO NOT WANT TO “PERMANENTLY RESIDE” IN VETERANS HOMES because of all the above said Rules that go with it… Having said that, although some of them may come to Veterans Homes just to get off the street for a while, in the long-term they will not stay if they do not see any light at the end of the tunnel for their own Private . Housing under Section 8 or Section 8 like circumstances and will return to the street rather then stay under those Rules…
I am pretty sure there are at least 20,000 vacant apartments in the GLA area… And if there are not, then find other areas of California where there are vacancies.
Congress needs to Appropriate Funds for HUD-VASH Vouchers for the remaining estimated 70,000 Homeless Veterans in the U.S., and stop playing games… The cost of Tranisitional Housing for about a third of these Vets is 2 to 3 times more than the cost for Permanent Housing under Section 8.
Table 1: A Taxonomy of ‘Housing First’ Services
|Service offered||Pathways Housing First||Communal Housing First||Housing First Light|
|Housing with security of tenure provided immediately or as soon as possible, scattered across the community||Yes||No||Yes|
|Apartments with security of tenure provided immediately in a shared/communal block||No||Yes||No|
|Service users have to stop using drugs||No||No||No|
|Service users have to stop drinking alcohol||No||No||No|
|Service users have to use mental health services||No||No||No|
|Harm reduction approach||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Uses mobile teams to provide services||Yes||No||Yes|
|Directly provides drug and alcohol services||Yes||Yes||No|
|Directly provides psychiatric and medical services||Yes||Yes||No|
|Uses case management/service brokerage||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Housing First and related story Links
Proof Independent Private ‘supported housing’ approach will End Veteran Homelessness, Not Building Veterans Homes!!! – Part 1 of a Series http://vnsla.com/2013/01/07/housingfirstpart1/
Proof Independent Private ‘supported housing’ approach will end Veteran Homelessness, Not Building Veterans Homes!!! – Part 2 of a Series http://vnsla.com/2013/01/08/housingfirstpart2/
Proof Independent Private ‘supported housing’ approach will end Veteran Homelessness, Not Building Veterans Homes!!! – Part 3 of a Series http://vnsla.com/2013/01/27/va300m/
Veterans in VA Homeless Programs being lied to about Housing Vouchers!!! http://vnsla.com/2012/11/10/veteransliedto/
940 homeless Veterans must suffer while nonprofits battle over housing voucher contract http://vnsla.com/2012/12/17/940homelessvetssuffer/
“Sole VA Contract to Path is not acting in the best interest of most Chronically Vulnerable Disabled Homeless Veterans” says OPCC http://vnsla.com/2013/03/23/opcconpathcontract/
Mercer Story http://www.merceralliance.org/pdf/5_Yr_Plan.pdf
Nicholas Pleace and Joanne Bretherton “Will Paradigm Drift Stop Housing First
from Ending Homelessness? Categorising and Critically Assessing the Housing
First Movement from a Social Policy Perspective” Paper given at Social Policy
in an Unequal World: Joint Annual Conference of the East Asian Social Policy
Research Network (EASP) and the United Kingdom Social Policy Association (SPA)
University of York, United Kingdom, July 16th-18th 2012