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VA Palo Alto Health Care System

 

Homeless Veterans

Domiciliary logo The Palo Alto Domiciliary, twice recognized as a National Center of Clinical Excellence, treats homeless and/or substance-dependent Veterans with the goal of returning Veterans to optimal independent living. The residential treatment programs at the Domiciliary located in Menlo Park, CA utilize Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in a therapeutic milieu, assisting Veterans with the practice and refinement of new skills and behaviors.

Homeless Veterans Rehabilitation Program (HVRP), one of the two residential treatment programs (70 beds, roughly 180 days for completion), is based upon the ethic of “I create what happens to me.” Its unique approach to promoting positive change is captured in the 5 Ps (Personal Responsibility, Problem Solving, People, Practice, and Play). One of the outstanding strengths of HVRP and its sister program First Step (30 beds, roughly 90 days for completion) is the continuum of care that extends beyond the residential phase of treatment. The aftercare programs, attended by hundreds of Veterans per year, allow outpatients to practice skills learned in residential treatment, “check in” with care providers and peers, and opportunities to “give back” and mentor those Veterans currently in the program.

In recent years, the Domiciliary has grown into a one-source provider addressing many components of the continuum of care for homeless Veterans. The HUD-VASH program allows Veterans to obtain permanent housing (with case management) in the local communities. The GPD (Grant Per Diem) and HCHV (Health Care for Homeless Veterans) programs contract with shelters and other providers to house Veterans in the community.

To provide Veterans with individualized housing assistance, our HCHV team has created a Housing Resource Group at nearly every clinic in our system.

The Outreach team coordinates and provides outreach services to homeless, OEF/OIF, justice-involved, female, and medically compromised Veterans throughout Northern California. The Justice and Re-entry Program reaches out to incarcerated and justice-involved Veterans through outreach visits to prisons and jails throughout Northern California as well as attending local Veteran courts.

In pursuit of continued clinical excellence, the Domiciliary incorporates training and development of both existing staff and trainees. Training opportunities within HVRP include practicum, internship, and postdoctoral fellowship rotations. Licensed and unlicensed staff collaborate to incorporate best practices and research from other clinical settings and VA sites.

In its role as a Center of Excellence in the treatment of homelessness, the Domiciliary also provides mentoring and training to other residential and homeless programs throughout the country.

If you are a Veteran who has lost your home, VA can help you get back on your feet. Contact VA’s National Call Center for Homeless Veterans at 1-877-4AID-VET (1-877-424-3838) to speak to a trained VA responder. The hotline and online chat are free and neither VA registration nor enrollment in VA healthcare is required to use either service.

When you call or join the online chat:

  • You will be connected to a trained VA responder. 
  • The responder will ask a few questions to assess your needs.
  • If you’re a Veteran, you may be connected with the Homeless Program point of contact at the nearest VA facility.
  • Contact information will be requested so staff may follow up.

VA offers these services, all available via 1-877-4AID-VET, to homeless Veterans and Veterans at risk of homelessness and their families:

Opportunities to return to employment

group in hospital

VA’s Compensated Work Therapy (CWT) is comprised of three unique programs which assist homeless Veterans in returning to competitive employment: Sheltered Workshop, Transitional Work, and Supported Employment. Veterans in CWT are paid at least the federal or state minimum wage, whichever is higher.

The Homeless Veteran Supported Employment Program (HVSEP) provides vocational assistance, job development and placement, and ongoing supports to improve employment outcomes among homeless Veterans and Veterans at-risk of homelessness. Formerly homeless Veterans who have been trained as Vocational Rehabilitation Specialists (VRSs) provide these services.

Safe Housing

The Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem Program provides grants and per diem payments (as funding is available) to help public and nonprofit organizations establish and operate supportive housing and service centers for homeless Veterans. Learn more about the Grant Per Diem Program

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HUD-VA Supportive Housing (VASH) Program is a joint effort between the Department of Housing and Urban Development and VA. HUD allocated nearly 38,000 "Housing Choice" Section 8 vouchers across the country. These vouchers allow Veterans and their families to live in market rate rental units while VA provides case management services. A housing subsidy is paid to the landlord on behalf of the participating Veteran. The Veteran then pays the difference between the actual rent charged by the landlord and the amount subsidized by the program. Learn more about the HUD-VASH Program.

The Acquired Property Sales for Homeless Providers Program makes all VA foreclosed properties available for sale to homeless provider organizations-at a 20 to 50 percent discount-to shelter homeless Veterans.

The Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) Program provides grants and technical assistance to community-based, nonprofit organizations to help Veterans and their families stay in their homes. Learn more about the SSVF program.

Health care

Doctor with patient

VA’s Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV) Program offers outreach, exams, treatment, referrals, and case management to Veterans who are homeless and dealing with mental health issues, including substance use. At more than 135 HCHV sites, trained, caring VA specialists provide tools and support necessary for Veterans to get their lives on a better track. Call VA’s toll-free hotline or visit the Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV) Program page.

VA’s Homeless Patient Aligned Care Teams (H-PACTs) Program provides a coordinated "medical home" specifically tailored to the needs of homeless Veterans that integrates clinical care with delivery of social services with enhanced access and community coordination. Implementation of this model is expected to address many of the health disparity and equity issues facing this population and result in reduced emergency department use and hospitalizations, improved chronic disease management, improved "housing readiness" with fewer Veterans returning to homelessness once housed. Homeless Patient Aligned Care Teams (H-PACTs) Program

VA’s Homeless Veterans Dental Program provides dental treatment for eligible Veterans in a number of programs: Domiciliary Residential Rehabilitation Treatment, VA Grant and Per Diem, Compensated Work Therapy/Transitional Residence, Healthcare for Homeless Veterans (contract bed), and Community Residential Care. VA is working to expand dental care to all eligible Veterans within this program. Homeless Veterans Dental Program

Project CHALENG (Community Homelessness Assessment, Local Education and Networking Groups) brings together providers, advocates, and other concerned citizens to identify the needs of homeless Veterans and work to meet those needs through planning and cooperative action. This process has helped build thousands of relationships between VA and community agencies so that together they can better serve homeless Veterans. For more information on Project CHALENG, call VA’s toll-free hotline or visit the Project CHALENG web page.

Mental health services

Doctor with patient

Veteran Justice Outreach provides eligible, justice-involved Veterans with timely access to VA’s mental health and substance use services when clinically indicated, and other VA services and benefits as appropriate.

VA’s Substance Use Disorder Treatment Enhancement Initiative provides substance use services in the community to aid homeless Veterans' recovery.

The Health Care for Re-Entry Veterans Program helps incarcerated Veterans successfully rejoin the community through supports including those addressing mental health and substance use problems.

The Readjustment Counseling Service’s Vet Center Programs feature community-based locations and outreach activities that help to identify homeless Veterans and match homeless Veterans with necessary services.