EXTENDED PROGRAM INITIATIVES
A HonorVet Program
IN RECOGNITION OF THE VETERANS STRATEGIC LEGAL RESOURCES, INC. - MANDATE, "VSLR" ALSO ASSISTS AND
SUPPORTS ELIGIBLE VETERANS, THERE FAMILIES AND NON-PROFIT GROUPS THAT ASSIST THESE POPULATIONS WITH THE
FOLLOWING EXTENDED PROGRAMS INITIATIVES.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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