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By Cody Brumgard

How veterans receive health care services is a topic of concern – and one we’ve covered recently (see How Many Veterans Use The VA As Their Primary Form Of Health Care?). But another concern rising to prominence is how veterans, especially those who are homeless, are housed.

To start, between approximately 529,000 and 840,000 veterans are homeless at some point over the course of the year (see National Coalition for Homeless Veterans Statistics). The federal government dedicated $1.64 billion in its 2015 budget to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for programs to house homeless veterans. Specifically, $500 million was used for the VA Supportive Services for Veteran Families program, while the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and VA Supportive Housing Program (HUD-VASH) received $321 million, and HUD received $75 million (see Proposed Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Fact Sheet: Homelessness Assistance). Additionally, HUD has invested $2.5 billion for Homeless Assistance Grants to help with ending homelessness among veterans and their families (see HUD 2016 Budget Summary).

In response to numbers like these, the Obama administration has launched several initiatives with the goal of ending homelessness among veterans by the end of 2015. The VA requests that a budget of $1.4 billion be used for VA homeless-related programs in both 2016 and 2017. Between 2010 and 2014, the VA reported overall veteran homelessness dropping by 33%, as well as achieving a 42% decrease in unsheltered veteran homelessness (see Department Of Veterans Affairs – 2016 Budget In Brief). The programs include the End Veteran Homelessness initiative (an effort launched by the administration that aims to obtain housing for homeless veterans and keep homeless veterans already housed in place ) and HUD-VASH (a joint effort between the VA and HUD to move veterans into permanent supportive housing). Another program is the 25 Cities Initiative, which has helped to house more than 10,000 homeless veterans as of August 2014 (see U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: 25 Cities Initiative). In 2014 alone, VA provided services to nearly 265,000 homeless veterans or at-risk of becoming homeless veterans.

For a look at some of the market opportunities to provide veteran housing, check out some of the most recent government contracts awards from the OPEN MINDS Government RFP & Contracts Database:

Federal Government Awards Residential Shelter/Housing Services Contract to The House, Inc.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration awarded a contract to provide residential shelter/housing services for veterans in the Substance Abuse Treatment Program in Fayetteville, Arkansas to The House, Inc.

Federal Government Awards Homeless Veterans Program Services Contract to Avalon Correctional Services, Inc.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs awarded a contract to Avalon Correctional Services, Inc. to provide care, treatment, and rehabilitative services for female veterans suffering from serious mental illness, including veterans who are homeless in El Paso, Texas.

Federal Government Awards Homeless Veteran Residential Services Contract to Ruth Meiers Hospitality House, Inc.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Affairs Black Hills Health Care System awarded a contract to provide residential services for homeless, including mentally ill and or chemically dependent, veterans in Bismarck, Minot, Williston, and Dickenson, North Dakota to Ruth Meiers Hospitality House, Inc.

Federal Government Awards Homeless Veterans Transitional Living Services Contract to Bristlecone Family Resources
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs awarded a contract to provide housing, care, treatment, and rehabilitative services for homeless veterans dealing with addictive disorders, or co-occurring mental health and addictive disorders to Bristlecone Family Resources.

Federal Government Awards Homeless Veterans Program Services Funding Contract to Avalon Correctional Services, Inc.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs awarded a contract for the availability of funding for a contractor to provide care, treatment, and rehabilitative services for veterans suffering from serious mental illness, including veterans who are homeless, in El Paso, Texas to Avalon Correctional Services, Inc.

Federal Government Awards Hospice Services Contract to Halcyon Healthcare, LLC – West Georgia
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center awarded a contract to provide hospice care for veterans in West Georgia to Halcyon Healthcare, LLC.

Arizona Awards for Housing Opportunity for Service Disabled Veterans Program Contract to Habitat for Humanity – Tucson
Arizona Attorney Generals Office awarded a contract to provide services for the Housing Opportunity for Service Disabled Veterans Program (HOSDV) to Habitat for Humanity – Tucson. The goals of HOSDV are to ensure housing affordability and to keep veterans with service connected disabilities who own their homes in their homes by providing for accessibility and related improvements.

For more on veterans’ housing services, check out:

  1. VA Announces New Grants To Help End Veteran Homelessness
  2. HUD, VA, And USICH Announce 33% Drop In Veteran Homelessness Since 2010
  3. VA Launches Community-Based Employment Service For Veterans At-Risk For Homelessness
  4. Greater Los Angeles Veterans Center Homeless Strategy & Action Plan
  5. Veterans Affairs & Community Partners Release Los Angeles Homeless Plan
  6. Profile Of Sheltered Homeless Veterans For Fiscal Years 2009 And 2010

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