This program is collaboration between the Massachusetts Department of Veteran Services and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in the effort to end homelessness among Veterans. This is accomplished through peer support, mental health services, psychiatric evaluation and linkages to emergency shelter at a Veteran-centric facility while concurrently initiating processes for long-term remediation of the Veteran’s homelessness through enrollment in the HUD-VASH program. This initiative requires the provision of an existing network of DVS Veteran-specific service providers, all of whom are dedicated at 100% effort to the care of homeless Veterans, to which Peer Support and Mental Health Specialists will be hired to provide care coordination services.
The Staff of four Peer Specialists, one Substance Abuse Counselor, one Psychiatrist, aided by a 24/7 support line will assist in providing safe stable, housing for 50 eligible veterans by 9/2012 in Massachusetts.
The Patrick-Murray Administration is making it a priority along with the Obama Administration to end homelessness among veterans by 2015. A national report shows that the reduction of veterans’ homelessness has been reduced nationally by 12% and Massachusetts by 18% compared with last years total.
At the local level, Secretary Nee of the Department of Veterans Services has been making this a top priority in Massachusetts. With a commitment from the Obama Administration, $100 Million has been dedicated to expand a homeless prevention plan nationally.
The problems that lead to homelessness begin long before Veterans and their families are on the streets,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “By putting more resources into prevention services for those at risk of becoming homeless, we will continue to help more Veterans and their families turn their lives around.”