Rapid re-housing isn't easy, but it is simple. And it's bringing us closer and closer to ending veteran homelessness by the end of this year. The Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) grants to community organizations across the country have taken the rapid re-housing intervention to a scale previously unseen, and the impact on veteran homelessness has been astonishing.
It isn’t easy. People experiencing homelessness often face numerous barriers to getting into and retaining stable, permanent housing. Data from Fiscal Year 2013 shows that more than half of the veterans participating in SSVF services had a disabling condition; 44 percent had a substance use disorder; and nearly a third had no income at the time of program entry. Yet 84 percent of participants exited the program to permanent housing with a median length of 90 days of services.
How has SSVF managed to achieve such dramatic outcomes?
At the Alliance, we’ve been talking a lot about the push to end veteran homelessness by the end of 2015. And we’re not the only ones (see: the departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development, the President and First Lady, and the list goes on…). Of course, telling you, “you need to end veteran homelessness this year” is much easier said than done. We recognize that. That’s why the Alliance will be providing as much guidance to communities as possible throughout the year.
Recently, several policy experts at the Alliance put their heads together to examine communities that have made real progress on ending veteran homelessness (and overall homelessness) to see how they are doing it. We’ve distilled that knowledge into this document, “Five Steps to End Veteran Homelessness,” which, as the title suggests, outlines the five major steps that communities must take to get the job done.
This one-page document outlines the five major steps that communities must take to end veteran homelessness.
With this speech, Nan Roman, Alliance President and CEO, addressed Supportive Service for Veterans Families (SSVF) “surge” grantees from across the country in December 2014. The SSVF “surge” grantees received approximately $200 million in one-time funding to provide rapid re-housing and prevention assistance to veteran households.
Last week was a busy one for the Alliance’s policy team. On Monday, Feb. 2, the Obama administration released its fiscal year (FY) 2016 budget proposal, and we wasted no time in poring over the details to determine exactly what the administration is proposing for key homeless assistance and affordable housing programs.
Soon after, we published a number of materials on the budget proposal for advocates, from a chart that outlines the proposed funding levels by program to sample FY 2016 appropriations talking points. You can find them all at our President’s FY 2016 Budget Briefing page.
We also hosted a webinar that provided an overview of the appropriations process and an analysis of the administration’s proposed funding levels.