Internship Program

                                                           EXTENDED PROGRAM INITIATIVES
                                     A HonorVet Program

The VSLR Career Development Program is a framework for building and evaluating a comprehensive career development
programs for veterans in a variety of settings.

Educators, counselors, career development professionals, or administrators can create high quality career development
programs such as the establishment of a mentor and internship program.
Help veterans acquire skills they’ll need to transition successfully into the mainstream workforce.
Help veterans achieve more by linking classroom study to future choices; and
Help veterans acquire new skills and move through career transitions

The new realities of the contemporary workplace and the contemporary worker have changed our perception and use of
the concept of career. Career development is now viewed as complex and multidimensional, involving growing through life
and work - an interweaving of learning, experiencing, living, working, changing, and identifying and discovering pathways.
Thus career development can be seen as the creation of an individual's life/work designs.

AmeriCorp As part of the national VA effort to help homeless veterans, helping homeless veterans may benefit selected
students. Working with VA staff, eligible VA beneficiary-students may receive funds to help defray school and living
expenses. If you are a veteran or a VA eligible beneficiary, attending school and receiving VA education assistance, you
may be entitled to participate in this work-for-pay program authorized through the VA Work-Study in this work-for-pay
program authorized through the VA Work-Study Allowance Program and the AmeriCorps Education Awards.

Loan Guarantee Program for Homeless Veterans Multifamily Housing
This new initiative authorizes VA to guarantee no more than 15 loans with an ager  gate value of $100 million within 5
years for construction, renovation of existing property, and refinancing of existing loans, facility furnishing or working
capital. No more than 5 loans may be guaranteed under this program prior to November 11, 2001. The amount financed
is a maximum of 90% of project costs. Legislation allows the Secretary to issue a loan guarantee for large-scale self-
sustaining multifamily loans. Eligible transitional project are those that: 1) Provide supportive services including job
counseling; 2) Require veteran to seek and maintain employment; 3) Require veteran to pay reasonable rent; 4) Require
sobriety as a condition of occupancy; and, 5) Serves other veterans in need of housing on a space available basis.

VSLR Assistance to Stand Downs
VA programs and staff have actively participated in each of the Stand Downs for Homeless Veterans run by local
coalitions in various cities each year. In wartime Stand Downs, front line troops are removed to a place of relative safety
for rest and needed assistance before returning to combat. Similarly, peacetime Stand Downs give homeless veterans 1-3
days of safety and security where they can obtain food, shelter, clothing, and a range of other types of assistance,
including VA provided health care, benefits certification, and linkages with other programs.

Veterans Industries
In VA's Compensated Work Therapy/Transitional Residence (CWT/TR) Program, disadvantaged, at-risk, and homeless
veterans live in CWT/TR community-based supervised group homes while working for pay in VA's Compensated Work
Therapy Program (also known as Veterans Industries). Veterans in the CWT/TR program work about 33 hours per
week, with approximate earnings of $732 per month, and pay an average of $186 per month toward maintenance and up-
keep of the residence. The average length of stay is about 174 days. VA contracts with private industry and the public
sector for work done by these veterans, who learn new job skills, relearn successful work habits, and regain a sense of
self-esteem and self-worth.

The Community Homelessness Assessment, Local Education, and Networking Groups (CHALENG) for veterans is a
nationwide initiative in which VA medical center and regional office directors work with other federal, state, and local
agencies and nonprofit organizations to assess the needs of homeless veterans, develop action plans to meet identified
needs, and develop directories that contain local community resources to be used by homeless veterans.

The Domiciliary Care for Homeless Veterans (DCHV) Program provides biopsychosocial treatment and rehabilitation to
homeless veterans. The program provides residential treatment to approximately 5,000 homeless veterans with health
problems each year and the average length of stay in the program is 4 months. The domiciliaries conduct outreach and
referral; vocational counseling and rehabilitation; and post-discharge community support.

This joint Supported Housing Program with the Department of Housing and Urban Development provides permanent
housing and ongoing treatment services to the harder-to-serve homeless mentally ill veterans and those suffering from
substance abuse disorders. HUD's Section 8 Voucher Program has designated 1,780 vouchers worth $44.5 million for
homeless chronically mentally ill veterans. VA staff at 35 sites provide outreach, clinical care and ongoing case
management services. Rigorous evaluation of this program indicates that this approach significantly reduces days of
homelessness for veterans plagued by serious mental illness and substance abuse disorders.

Supported Housing
Like the HUD-VASH program identified above, staff in VA's Supported Housing Program provides ongoing case
management services to homeless veterans. Emphasis is placed on helping veterans find permanent housing and providing
clinical support needed to keep veterans in permanent housing. Staff in these programs operate without benefit of the
specially dedicated Section 8 housing vouchers available in the HUD-VASH program but are often successful in locating
transitional or permanent housing through local means, especially by collaborating with Veterans Service Organizations.

Drop-In Centers
These programs provide a daytime sanctuary where homeless veterans can clean up, wash their clothes, and participate in
a variety of therapeutic and rehabilitative activities. Linkages with longer-term assistance are also available.

SSA-VA Outreach
In this pilot project with the Social Security Administration, HCMI and Homeless Domiciliary staff coordinate outreach
and benefits certification with SSA staff to increase the number of veterans receiving SSA benefits and otherwise assist in
their rehabilitation. In this demonstration project, both applications and benefits awards have increased significantly and
the time to process applications has decreased dramatically.

Comprehensive Homeless Centers
VA's Comprehensive Homeless Centers (CHCs) place the full range of VA homeless efforts in a single medical center's
catchment area and coordinate administration within a centralized framework. With extensive collaboration among non-
VA service providers.

VBA-VHA Special Outreach and Benefits Assistance
VHA has provided specialized funding to support twelve Veterans Benefits Counselors as members of HCMI and
Homeless Domiciliary Programs as authorized by Public Law 102-590. These specially funded staff provide dedicated
outreach, benefits counseling, referral, and additional assistance to eligible veterans applying for VA benefits. This
specially funded initiative complements VBA's ongoing efforts to target homeless veterans for special attention. To reach
more homeless veterans, designated homeless veterans coordinators at VBA's 58 regional offices annually make over
4,700 visits to homeless facilities and over 9,000 contacts with non-VA agencies working with the homeless and provide
over 24,000 homeless veterans with benefits counseling and referrals to other VA programs. These special outreach
efforts are assumed as part of ongoing duties and responsibilities. VBA has also instituted new procedures to reduce the
processing times for homeless veterans' benefits claims.

VBA's Acquired Property Sales for Homeless Providers
This program makes all the properties VA obtains through foreclosures on VA-insured mortgages available for sale to
homeless provider organizations at a discount of 20 to 50 percent, depending on time of the market.

VA Excess Property for Homeless Veterans Initiative
This initiative provides for the distribution of federal excess personal property, such as hats, parkas, footwear, socks,
sleeping bags, and other items to homeless veterans and homeless veteran programs.

Program Monitoring and Evaluation
VA has built program monitoring and evaluation into all of its homeless veterans' treatment initiatives and it serves as an
integral component of each program. Designed, implemented, and maintained by the Northeast Program Evaluation
Center (NEPEC) at VAMC West Haven, CT, these evaluation efforts provide important information about the veterans
served and the therapeutic value and cost effectiveness of the specialized programs. Information from these evaluations
also helps program managers determine new directions to pursue in order to expand and improve services to homeless

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).  Never underestimate the government's ability to give you information.  It's all
here!          Reams upon much for the Paperwork Reduction Act.  In the box below you'll find important toll-free VA
phone                    numbers and a listing of VA web sites.

Important Phone Numbers

VA Benefits      1-800-827-1000
Health Care      1-877-222-8387
Education      1-888-442-4551
Life Insurance      1-800-669-8477
Debt Management      1-800-827-0648
Mammography Hotline      1-888-492-7844
Telecommunication Device for the Deaf (TDD)      1-800-829-4833
CHAMPVA      1-800-733-8387
Headstones and Markers      1-800-697-6947
Special Health Issues: Gulf War, Agent Orange, Project 112/Shad

Web Sites

VA Home Page .......................................................
VA Health Care .............................
Returning Veterans .................
Survivors ..........................
VA Facilities ...................
VA Forms .................................................
VA Benefit Payment Rates ........
Education Benefits ........................................
Home Loan Guaranty .........................
Life Insurance .......................................
Voc Rehab ...........................
Burial and Memorial Benefits .........................
Veterans Employment and Training ..............
Federal Jobs .........................................
Veterans Preference ............
Records ..............
Department of Defense ............................

The National Archives and Records Administration is where you can order a copy of your military personnel and medical
records.           Always have  copies of these.

he U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims could be your next step if your claim has been denied.  Study this
site                           will find  everything needed to take your claim to the court.

You can get to the
Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs with this link.  Are your Senators working for you?

Click on this link to find out
how your Senator has voted.  There are lots of great links on this page...especially check out
the                      appropriations link.

Here is the link to the
House Committee on Veterans' Affairs.  Find out what your reps are doing for you.

You can click on this link to
find out how your representative in the House has voted.  Again, there are other great
informational               links on this page.

If you want to write to the elected
Representative for your is the page to find them.

If you want to write to your is the page to find them.

And, is a portal that will take you to all government sites.

Want to raise hell with the Reps and Senators on the Veterans' Affairs Committees?  View the complete list of members
with                     addresses, phones and emails and get to work!  (
click here)  (Thanks to Richard Carter.)

To call your Senator or Representative toll-free just dial:  1-877-SOB-U-SOB  (honest)


The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) is one of the best organizations when it comes to fighting for your benefits.  Even if you
are           not a member the VFW has Service Officers at most VA facilities who can help you with your claims.

American Legion is the largest veterans organization in the world.  Again, a great source of information and help if you
need             it.  The Legion can represent you in the claims process and you don't have to be a member.

A great organization with incredible resources and lots of information is the
Disabled American Veterans (DAV).  Just click the
link          to peruse their services and see if they might be able to help with your particular situation.

Here is the link to
AMVETS, another great service organization.

Even if you aren't a Vietnam vet the
Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) can provide great information on VA benefits
and                    dealing with the VA.  This is a great site to explore.

USDR is the Uniformed Services Disabled Retirees.  This is a great site for retirees who are disabled.  Always
up-to-date                              information.  
Find them here...

Here is the best source for information on medical malpractice at the VA...

Just for women veterans...the help and information you need at...Sisters Bound by Honor...

Blue Water Navy ... Dioxin exposure information for sailors.

HR2370 dot Org ... Check out this site to support H.R. 2370 which will issue a medal to certain veterans who died after their
service           in the Vietnam War as a direct result of that service, or who were presumptively exposed to ionizing radiation,
herbicide agents, or           chemical agents during their service in the Armed Forces.

Here is great PTSD info and support for all vets at
PTSD Support dot Net

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) ... Formerly known as Operation Truth.

Veterans Rest Camp of Minnesota is open to all vets.  
Click here for more.....

The Veteran's Coalition, People who Care is a great site.  This is a spin-off of VVW.

The National Gulf War Resource Center provides incredible information for anyone who served in the Gulf at any time.  The
site             is

And don't forget the
International Gulf War Council -- a centralized working group for the advancement of veterans health issues.

I know you'll find
Vets for Justice an interesting site.  Full of mind-boggling information about the condition and operation of
the            Department of Veterans Affairs.

Veterans Equal Rights Protection Advocacy will set you straight on the Feres Doctrine.  Also, many links to other great sites.

Veteran's Help Network is just that.  Lot's of great help and many links to places you'll want to explore.  Especially good if you
are             looking for legal help with a VA claim.

AHRP is the Alliance for Human Research Protection and this link takes you to pages that detail human research at VA hospitals.
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the
copyright owner. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without
profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and
educational purposes. For more information go to: If you wish
to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain
permission from the copyright owner.
Southern MASS Veterans Housing Program, Inc.
          20 Willis Street, New Bedford, MA 02740