VA Western New York Healthcare System
Director's Summit on Veteran Homelessnes
The third annual Director’s Summit to End Veteran Homelessness was recently held at VA Western New York Healthcare System. The event included a wide range of attendees gathering in an effort to better understand the needs of homeless Veterans.
Some of the groups present at the event included individuals from the Western New York Veterans Housing Coalition, Grant Per Diem transitional housing, Contract Residence emergency housing, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) and Veteran Justice Outreach.
Also on hand was Veteran Almon Humber. Homeless for over 12 years, Humber was involved in various homeless services in New York City and Buffalo before turning things around with the help of the HUD-VASH program. The program combines a HUD Housing Choice Voucher with VA case management and supportive services. It is designed to help homeless Veterans find permanent housing through the Department’s rental assistance program in cooperation with other agencies. “Without this program, I don’t know where I’d be” said Humber. “Other homeless Vets need to get the opportunity that I got.”
In addition to the Summit, other events supporting Veterans and the fight to end homelessness include an annual Stand Down, which will take place again May 2013. This event features over 200 representatives from VA, community organizations, government agencies and Veteran service organizations. If you have experience with homelessness or helpful resources can help by completing the Community Homelessness Assessment, Local Education and Networking Groups (CHALENG) survey. The CHALENG survey is given yearly to gain a better understanding of current issues and improvements to be made regarding homeless Veteran services. The survey is available here.
VA is committed to ending homelessness among Veterans. To get assistance for homeless Veterans, contact VA’s Healthcare for Homeless Veterans Program at 716-881-5855 or the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans, a 24-hour hotline, at 1- 877-424-3838.