North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System
The North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System’s Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV) Program is the gateway to services for most homeless Veterans. HCHV outreaches to Veterans on streets, in shelters and at local soup kitchens to engage and assist them in connecting with VA services that could help. The HCHV teams are based in Gainesville, Lake City, Ocala, Jacksonville and Tallahassee and are ready to help Veterans become self-sufficient and independent through a number of services.
The HONOR Center (providing Hope, Opportunities, Networking, Outreach and Recovery), located in Gainesville, FL, is a state-of-the-art facility providing comprehensive homeless programs, including Permanent Supported Housing, HUD-VASH, Grant and Per Diem Transitional Housing, Contract Residential Services, Health Care for Re-Entry Veterans, and Veterans Justice Outreach.
The facility also features The Residence, a 45-bed domiciliary designed to meet the needs of homeless Veterans who are disabled or in need of a place to recuperate from health care crises or serious illness. The 24-hour, homelike facility offers private and semi-private rooms, with the ability to serve up to 6 female Veterans. In addition to traditional services, the residents are offered cooking classes, recreational therapy, dental services, library/media center, and horticulture therapy. Veterans may be eligible for a 3-6 month stay the The Residence. Learn more about The Residence Or for a Residence application.
Permanent Supported Housing Program
The Permanent Supportive Housing Program, in partnership with Housing Urban Development’s (HUD), Public Housing Authorities, and the Veteran Health System provides eligible Veterans with housing vouchers. In addition, VA staff provide ongoing intensive case management services to ensure Veterans have the needed support and services to maintain their housing.
HUD-VASH (VA Support Housing)
The Department of Housing and Urban Development and Department of Veterans Affairs Supported Housing (HUD-VASH) Program provides permanent housing and ongoing case management treatment services for homeless Veterans who need support to live independently. Presently, there are approximately 1,500 Housing Choice Vouchers in use throughout the North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System area. Veterans who are working or disabled may qualify. This program provides for our most vulnerable Veterans, and is especially helpful to Veterans with families, women Veterans and recently returning Veterans.
Grant and Per Diem Program
The Grant and Per Diem Transitional Housing Program is a VA-funded community based program providing transitional housing or other service centers for homeless Veterans. Focusing on job skills, life skills and money management skills training, transitional housing is currently located in Gainesville, Jacksonville, Lake City, Ocala, Starke, and Tallahassee.
Health Care for Re-Entry Veterans Program
The Health Care for Re-Entry Veterans Program is a collaboration with the Department of Corrections and focuses on the special needs of Veterans preparing to leave state or federal prison systems. Specialists work with Veterans to make plans and connect with VA and community services to ensure their success and prevent a return to incarceration.
Veterans Justice Outreach Program
The Veterans Justice Outreach Program works in much the same way as the Re-Entry Veterans program, but focuses on Veterans serving in local jails and treatment courts. Specialists work to bridge the gap between VA treatment and the court system when the court determines that this is in the Veteran's best interest.
Homeless Veterans Dental Initiative
The Homeless Veterans Dental Initiative provides for a complete course of dental treatment for Veterans who successfully participate in one of the housing programs for at least 60 days. Veterans receive care through community providers and are able to receive a full range of dental services. Restoring smiles and self-esteem, one Veteran at a time.
The HCHV staff conduct outreach activities throughout North Florida and South Georgia. More information on the Outreach Schedule
VA’s specialized programs for homeless Veterans serve hundreds of thousands of homeless and at-risk Veterans each year. Independently and in collaboration with federal and community partners, VA programs provide Veterans with housing solutions, employment opportunities, health care, justice- and reentry-related services and more. Learn more about these programs below and at VA’s Programs for At-Risk Veterans and Their Families page.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH)
This collaborative program between HUD and VA combines HUD housing vouchers with VA supportive services to help Veterans who are homeless and their families find and sustain permanent housing.
How It Works
Through public housing authorities, HUD provides rental assistance vouchers for privately owned housing to Veterans who are eligible for VA health care services and are experiencing homelessness. VA case managers may connect these Veterans with support services such as health care, mental health treatment and substance use counseling to help them in their recovery process and with their ability to maintain housing in the community. Among VA homeless continuum of care programs, HUD-VASH enrolls the largest number and largest percentage of Veterans who have experienced long-term or repeated homelessness. As of Sept. 30, 2015, HUD had allocated more than 78,000 vouchers to help house Veterans across the country.
Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF)
For very low-income Veterans, SSVF provides case management and supportive services to prevent the imminent loss of a Veteran’s home or identify a new, more suitable housing situation for the individual and his or her family; or to rapidly re-house Veterans and their families who are homeless and might remain homeless without this assistance.
How It Works
Through referrals and direct outreach, nonprofit agencies and community cooperatives use SSVF funding to quickly house Veterans and their families who are homeless and keep others from slipping into homelessness by providing time-limited supportive services that promote housing stability. Case management includes help securing VA and other benefits such as educational aid and financial planning.
Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem (GPD) Program
State, local and tribal governments and nonprofits receive capital grants and per diem payments to develop and operate transitional housing and/or service centers for Veterans who are homeless.
How It Works
VA funds an estimated 600 agencies that provide over 14,500 beds for eligible Veterans. Grantees work closely with an assigned liaison from the local VAMC. The VA GPD liaison monitors the services the grantees offer to Veterans and provides direct assistance to them. Grantees also collaborate with community-based organizations to connect Veterans with employment, housing and additional social services to promote housing stability. The maximum stay in this housing is up to 24 months, with the goal of moving Veterans into permanent housing.
Domiciliary Care for Homeless Veterans (DCHV) Program
This program encompasses residential care for sheltered and unsheltered Veterans with multiple challenges, illnesses or rehabilitative care needs. DCHV provides a structured setting to foster Veterans’ independence and mutual support.
How It Works
Either on VAMC grounds or in the community, participating Veterans receive interdisciplinary clinical care that includes medical, psychiatric, vocational, educational or social services. There are more than 2,400 beds available through 47 sites.
Homeless Veteran Community Employment Services (HVCES)
Under this program, each VA Medical Center (VAMC) has received funding to hire new vocational development specialists who are serving as Community Employment Coordinators (CECs) to boost employment outcomes for Veterans who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
How It Works
CECs work out of each VAMC to forge partnerships and create relationships with local community organizations and employers who have the ability to hire Veterans. CECs work with and pre-screen Veterans who offer a variety of skills and come from all education levels, and are backed by VA’s entire network of services and providers. Employers can also proactively reach out to their local CEC by visiting the CEC contact information page.
Compensated Work Therapy (CWT)
CWT is comprised of the transitional work and supported employment program, which assists homeless Veterans in returning to competitive employment.
How It Works
Veterans in CWT are paid at least the federal or state minimum wage, whichever is the higher.
Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV)
This program offers outreach, case management and residential treatment services to help Veterans transition from living on the street or in institutions to stable housing situations.
How It Works
Operating out of many VAMCs nationwide, clinically trained providers locate Veterans who are living in precarious situations and connect them with VA bridge housing, health care and case management services that promote safe, stable living arrangements.
Homeless Patient Aligned Care Teams (H-PACTs) Program
Located on the campuses of VA medical centers (VAMCs), community-based outpatient clinics and Community Resource and Referral Centers, H-PACT clinics provide a coordinated “medical home” tailored to the needs of homeless Veterans. They integrate clinical care, social services, enhanced access and community coordination.
How They Work
H-PACTS co-locate medical staff, social workers, mental health and substance use counselors, nurses and homeless program staff. This team provides Veterans with comprehensive, individualized care, including services that lead to permanent housing. Veterans can walk in to H-PACT clinics without an appointment and receive medical care, case management services, housing placement supports, substance use and mental health treatment, community referrals, triage services, benefits counseling and even hot showers and clean clothes. H-PACT has expanded to 60 VAMCs nationally and is currently actively serving almost 19,000 Veterans. It is estimated that over 25,000 Veterans were served by an H-PACT during 2015. H-PACTs are showing promise in improving health and other outcomes among participating Veterans compared with non-H-PACT patients.
Homeless Veterans Dental Program
This other important resource provides Veterans who are homeless with dental treatment through programs such as Domiciliary Residential Rehabilitation Treatment, VA Grant and Per Diem, Compensated Work Therapy/Transitional Residence, Health Care for Homeless Veterans (contract bed) and Community Residential Care. VA is working to expand dental care to all eligible Veterans.
Justice- and Reentry-Related Services
Veterans Justice Outreach (VJO) and Health Care for Reentry Veterans (HCRV) Programs
VJO aims to prevent homelessness by helping justice-involved Veterans who have mental health or substance use issues access needed VA clinical services. HCRV specialists work with Veterans to ease their transition from prison back into the community.
How the Programs Work
VJO specialists provide direct outreach, assessment and case management for Veterans in local courts and jails and help them navigate the justice system. Every VAMC has at least one VJO specialist. HCRV specialists meet with incarcerated Veterans before they’re released and assist them in planning for reintegration into the community by accessing VA and community services as well as housing and employment opportunities.
Community Resource and Referral Centers (CRRCs)
CRRCs provide Veterans who are homeless and at risk of homelessness with one-stop access to community-based, multiagency services to promote permanent housing, health and mental health care, career development and access to VA and non-VA benefits.
For a list CRRCs across the country, click here.
These community-based outlets provide a broad range of counseling, outreach and referral services to combat Veterans and their families. Vet Centers guide Veterans and their families through many of the major adjustments in lifestyle that often occur after a Veteran returns from combat. Services may include individual and group counseling in areas such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), alcohol and drug assessment and suicide prevention referrals. All services are free and strictly confidential. Call 1-877-WAR-VETS (1.877.927.8387) to learn more.