Defining Homeless Veteran for HUD-VASH Section 8 and other Housing and Benefits

by Terry Richards

42 U.S. Code § 11302 – General definition of homeless individual

Chronic Homelessness defined for Veterans

Unaccompanied individual with disabling condition who has been homeless for 1 continuous year or 4+ times in 3 years (HUD, 2011)

16.8% of individuals experiencing homelessness are chronically homeless (HUD, 2011)

Psychiatric disability, substance abuse, medical co- morbidities more prevalent within chronically homeless population than episodically or transitionally homeless (Kertesz, et al., 2005; Burt, et al., 2001; Kuhn & Culhane, 1998)

Services cost an average of $40,500/year for chronically homeless multi-system users (Culhane, Metraux, & Hadley, 2002)

Role of HUD-VASH Within the Continuum:
Working with Others to Target and Serve the Most Vulnerable

VA has set target goal of 65% in HUD VASH being chronically homeless.

Remaining 35% still available for other vulnerable, high priority groups – veterans with families, women, OEF/OIF

Rapid Results Housing Boot Camps have successfully engaged 20+ high profile communities to focus on targeting the CH

Efforts underway to better integrate with VA Outreach staff and Community Solutions 100K Campaign

Closer cooperation with CoCs on defining, locating and engaging the chronically homeless; better education on VA eligibility criteria

Expansion and utilization of other options for families i.e. Supportive Services for Veterans Families (SSVF)