VA Palo Alto Health Care System
VA Sees Decrease in Bay Area Veteran Homelessness
San Mateo County shows 79% decrease from 2011
Eleven Northern California counties served by the VA Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS) have reported a decrease in Veteran homelessness by more than 12 percent, in comparison to the same areas in January 2011.
Headed by U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD), teams of volunteers and homeless citizens from various multiagency task forces head out each January to conduct a "Point in Time" or "PIT" count of sheltered and unsheltered homeless in a given area - including military Veterans. VA Palo Alto Health Care System is one of those agencies working with the community to get these counts, particularly with VA Secretary Eric Shinseki aim to end homelessness among Veterans. According to the HUD report in December 2012, homelessness among Veterans in the U.S. has dropped seven percent since January 2011, with an even larger decrease in counties served by VAPAHCS.
The California counties and their Veteran homelessness include:
"I'm proud of the efforts of our homeless programs, our Ending Veteran Homelessness Workgroups, and the critical efforts of our community partners," said Kate Severin, chief of Domiciliary Services at VAPAHCS.
VAPAHCS' service areas include counties from as far north as Tuolumne and as far south as Monterey. The areas seeing the largest impact were Santa Clara, Alameda, San Mateo, Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties, decreasing by 27%, 40%, 35% and 79%, respectively. The totals for all of the counties served by VAPAHCS have dropped from 1,871 to 1,642 since 2011.
According to HUD, the decline in homeless Veterans is contributed particularly to HUD-VA Supportive Housing, a joint program between HUD and VA that offers homeless Veterans the chance to find permanent supportive housing through rental vouchers. VAPAHCS homeless programs provide a continuum of care that has been integral to HUD-VASH with 29 case workers and 926 Veterans housed in HUD-VASH since 2008.
Other programs that have contributed to the decrease of over 220 homeless Veterans in the last year include the Grants and Per Diem Program, Health Care for Homeless Veterans Program, Homeless Veterans Rehabilitation Program, First Step, Justice Outreach, Homeless and RE-Entry Outreach, and the Housing Resource Groups located at nearly every clinic in the health care system. Find out more about VAPAHCS' homeless programs on the Domiciliary website.