More independent subsidized supported housing needed for Homeless Veterans Not Veterans Homes…

by Terry Richards

80% of Homeless Veterans in the Greater Los Angeles living on-the-street in “Skid-Row” and other areas of Los Angeles, as well as those living in VA Grant Per Diem and Domiciliary Transitional Housing say they want more independent subsidized supported housing not Veterans Homes for their “Permanent Residence”… After taking the survey at one point, I met with William L. Daniels, Chief of Mental Health for the VA Healthcare System in Los Angeles and he advised me the VA came-up with the same 80% figure… The main reasons these Veterans ave me for wanting Independent Housing is because they do not want to be subjected to curfews, the inability to have overnight guests, drug and alcohol testing, room inspections, sharing rooms or sharing “so-called apartments”, and only having curtains rather then entry doors” to their room in some scenarios found in some Veterans Homes…
The “Housing First Initiative” of having Independent Supported Housing for Homeless with or without substance abuse addictions Transitioning from living on-the street is a proven and successful “Paradigm” Worldwide with only a 19% substance abuse or mental health recidivism rate resulting in eviction… Substance Abuse Treatment and Mental Health Programs are optional and are available to Veterans on an “Outpatient” basis, another working “Paradigm of the Housing First Supportive Housing Initiative… The VA signed onto and agreed to implement the “Housing First Supportive Housing Initiative” in order to end homelessness among the Veteran Population Nationwide, and the VA should “stick to their guns” (No pun intended)… And Congress needs to do their party by Appropriating more then 7,000-10,000 HUD-VASH Housing Vouchers each Fiscal Year.
Congress also needs to also look-into subsidizing Non-Profit Programs like the Salvation Army’s “Affordable Housing” Programs which now cost Veterans an average of about $650 per month rather than an average of $250 per month using the HUD-VASH 30% of income ration because Programs like this just find Landlords who have cheap rents… And more likely then not, cheap rents usually mean high crime neighborhoods and Apartments that do not me Housing Codes…   Moreover, at the $650 per month rate + utilities in some cases, there is a high recidivism of substance abuse resulting in eviction a representative at the Salvation Army’s “Haven” Program told me… This is probably due to Veterans having very little money left-over for diversions like Dating, Movies, Travel, cable TV, to visit family, etc., and also having to live in “Slumlord” like Apartments, all of  which results in them returning to substance abuse and/or substantially deteriorates there Mental Health resulting in eviction for many of these Veterans…
For those Homeless Veterans in Los Angeles and Nationwide whose Mental and/Physical Disabilities are so impaired that it prevents them from being able to take care of themselves or their household the VA should build Veterans Homes that provide Assisted Living and Nursing Care, much like the “Paradigm” of the State of the Art California Veterans Home located at and on the property of the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center…  How many Homeless or at risk of being homeless Veterans in the Greater Los Angeles area fit this Medical and/or Mental Health Profile is unknown to this Author at this time…  But whatever the amount, there is “nothing set in stone” that says all these Veterans Homes have to be built at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center just because that Land was Deeded to build Veterans Homes, Veterans Homes can be build on or off VA or other Government Property to accommodate Veterans who fit the said above Profile…
Finally for those who have been Advocating that only or mostly Veterans Homes be built only or mostly at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center are not in tune with what Homeless Veterans want… The vast majority of Homeless Veterans who I interviewed who meet independent living requirements told me that “If they build them – they won’t come”, meaning that they would rather stay homeless then live in Veterans Homes, especially Veterans Homes at the West Los Angeles VA Medical or on other VA Property…


Proof Independent Private ‘supported housing’ approach will End Veteran Homelessness, Not Building Veterans Homes!!! – Part 1 of a Series    


Proof Independent Private ‘supported housing’ approach will end Veteran Homelessness, Not Building Veterans Homes!!! – Part 2 of a Series

Proof Independent Private ‘supported housing’ approach will end Veteran Homelessness, Not Building Veterans Homes!!! – Part 3 of a Series

Veterans in VA Homeless Programs being lied to about Housing Vouchers!!!                             

940 homeless Veterans must suffer while nonprofits battle over housing voucher contract                                            

“Sole VA Contract to Path is not acting in the best interest of most Chronically Vulnerable Disabled Homeless Veterans” says OPCC    


Mercer Story

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