Serving Homeless Veterans - Baylee Crone


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Baylee Crone, National Coalition for Homeless Veterans
Presentation from HAC's 2013 symposium "Housing Seniors and Veterans in Rural America: Preservation, Development and Services" in Council Bluffs, IA, August 28-29.

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  • CoC Program funds may be used under five program components: permanent housing (PH), transitional housing (TH), supportive services only (SSO), HMIS, and, for HUD designated High Performing Communities (HPCs), homelessness prevention. Administrative costs, and HMIS costs for contributing data, are eligible for all components
  • Keith gave some great information on veterans in rural areas yesterday, and we ’ ve also learned quite a bit about the home ownership and rental assistance programs for veterans. We want to build on that by discussing some background on veteran homelessness in rural areas.
  • Unsheltered counts remain the same (could point to HUD-VASH going to GPD/transitional housing clients or bad unsheltered data; we will see in 2013) In 2012, 67 percent of CoCs conducted both a PIT count of their sheltered and unsheltered homeless populations This most recent decline in homelessness among veterans was driven by a 12.2 percent (or 4,890 person) decline in sheltered veterans. Meanwhile, the number of unsheltered veterans remained largely unchanged since 2011 (increase of 14 persons or 0.1 percent). The share of veterans among all homeless adults declined in recent years, from 16 percent in 2010 to 14 percent in 2011. 1 in 154 veterans in the U.S. were homeless in shelter during this period.
  • The demographic data speaks for itself, but I will point out a few important pieces to note. Although the majority are Caucasian males, minority populations are overrepresented in the homeless veteran community. African Americans constitute just more than 10 percent of the total veteran population in the U.S., but represent more than 35 percent of sheltered homeless veterans. Nearly 28 percent of individual veterans lived in housing prior to entering shelter compared with 37 percent of non-veteran Individuals. Only 3% were homeowners the night before entering homelessness. While approximately 1 in 4 veterans were disabled and 1 in 3 poor veterans were disable, more than 1 in 2 sheltered veterans were disabled. Nine in 10 sheltered veterans were men. This is smaller than the proportion of men among all U.S. veterans (92.8%), but higher than the proportion of men among U.S. veterans in poverty (89.3%). In January 2010 four states — California, Florida, New York, and Texas — accounted for 50 percent of all homeless veterans across the country. These four states accounted for 46 percent of the total homeless population, 32 percent of the U.S. population, and 28 percent of the total veteran population.
  • The percentage of women among sheltered veterans increased by 1.8 percentage points between 2010 and 2011 and by 2.3 percentage points since 2009. Female veterans are twice as likely to be homeless as female non-veterans Demographics are different from overall homeless veterans Over recent years, the age distribution among sheltered veterans has shifted slightly. From 2009 to 2011, the share of veterans age 31 to 50 has decreased by 5.6 percentage points (from 44.7 to 39.1%), while the share of veterans age 51 to 61 has increased by 3.9 percentage points (from 38.4 to 42.3%). The proportion of young veterans in shelter has increased by 1.0 percentage points. Similar shifts have occurred in the oldest and youngest age groups of the total veteran population. Data overall is reliable, but numbers of homeless women veterans may be undercounted. In 2011, HUD required communities doing the PIT to count the numbers of homeless veterans in unsheltered locations. This, paired with the VISNs efforts to ensure that all veterans in VA residential programs are likewise counted, has drastically increased the reliability of the data without statistical adjustment. 2.4% decline in homelessness among persons in families Sheltered veterans in families are more likely than individuals to be women, younger, and belong to a minority group
  • There is limited information available to make urban versus rural homelessness comparable. This goes back to programs: homeless specific programs can track data, but mainstream services do not differentiate between homeless and other clients. Homeless veterans are overrepresented in cities versus rural areas, when compared to the general homeless population. According to GAO: Persons experiencing homelessness in rural areas could be living in one of a limited number of shelters, in extremely overcrowded situations, in severely substandard housing, or outdoors.
  • Homeless Female Veterans and Veterans with Families Program. VETS awarded grants to support partnerships that ensure that homeless women veterans have career and training opportunities. Twenty six grants were awarded in 14 states and the District of Columbia for job training, counseling and placement services (including job readiness, and literacy and skills training) to expedite the reintegration of approximately 2,000 homeless female veterans and veterans with families into the labor force PY 2009, DVOP specialists served 351,069 transitioning Service Members, Veterans and other eligible persons. Of this total, 54,605 (16%) were Disabled Veterans, 134,193 (38%) were campaign badge Veterans, 7,801 (2%) were transitioning Service Members and 55,022 (16%) were recently separated Veterans. Most of these Veterans faced barriers to employment and were served using the case management approach to delivering intensive services. During PY 2009, LVER staff members served 357,936 transitioning Service Members, Veterans and other eligible persons. Of this total, 42,506 (12%) were Disabled Veterans, 144,780 (40%) were campaign badge Veterans, 11,851 (3%) were transitioning Service Members, and 42,971 (12%) were recently separated Veterans.
  • Grants are provided to State Workforce Agencies (SWA) to support staff dedicated to serving veterans, specifically those who require special assistance due to disabilities or other significant barriers to employment. VETS coordinates with the Department of Defense to provide workshops in over 240 locations worldwide to prepare service members for transition to meaningful civilian employment. The annual targets for all veterans were reached for all three performance measures. The entered employment rate increased by three percentage points, to 51 percent, from the previous year ’ s result of 48 percent. The employment retention rate also showed continued improvement from the previous year, increasing from 77 percent to 79 percent. Finally, the six months average earnings levels improved by more than $500 from the previous year, increasing from $15,619 to $16,129.
  • More family beds in iowa than in general
  • the Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) program and the Continuum of Care (CoC) program both include rapid re-housing as an eligible form of assistance. ESG and CoC rapid re-housing grant funds may be used to provide short- and/or medium-term rental assistance and accompanying, limited supportive services, as needed, to help an individual or family that is homeless move as quickly as possible into permanent housing and achieve stability in that housing. To receive ESG rapid re-housing (ESG-RRH) assistance, an individual or family must demonstrate at initial evaluation that it is literally homeless. To receive CoC rapid re-housing (CoC-RRH) assistance, though, individuals and families may be defined as homeless under any of the four categories included in the Homeless Definition Final Rule. ESG- RRH also may be used for payment of an eligible program participant ’ s rent in arrears. However, CoC- RRH assistance may not be used for payment of rent in arrears
  • By comparison, the age profile among all U.S. veterans is much older. More than half (51.8%) were age 62 and older, while only 5.4 percent were age 30 or younger. Those age 31 to 62 make up 42.8 percent of all veterans Studies on caregivers in rural vs. urban areas find that there is not more significant strain on caregivers for the aging in rural areas, although those in rural areas used more emergency services. The Internet penetration rate for urban areas is 89% compared to 75% in rural areas. Even when medical information is available online, few rural veterans use it.
  • Discuss objective and methodology NCHV contacted over 400 GPD providers.
  • Serving Homeless Veterans - Baylee Crone

    1. 1. Homeless and At-Risk Veterans in Rural Areas: Service Needs, Programs, and Challenges HAC’s Housing Seniors and Veterans in Rural America Baylee Crone, National Coalition for Homeless Veterans August 29, 2013
    2. 2. “We will provide new help for homeless veterans because those heroes have a home – it’s the country they served, the United States of America.” -President Obama (March 16, 2009)
    3. 3. Resources on Veteran Homelessness • NCHV • National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans • Local VA Medical Centers (VAMCs) • Continuums of Care (CoCs) • DOL American Job Centers (AJCs)
    4. 4. Agenda • Background on Veteran Homelessness • Veterans and Homelessness in Rural Areas • Challenges Faced by At-Risk and Homeless Rural Veterans • Programs for Homeless and At-Risk Rural Veterans • The Challenges that Remain • Action Steps
    5. 5. Background on Veteran Homelessness Veterans Homelessness in the US • Total number of homeless veterans on one night: 62,619 − From 2012 Point In Time (PIT) count − Declined by 7.2% since 2011 and by 17.2% since 2009 − 13% of all homeless adults − 56% sheltered (including emergency or transitional housing) • Total number of veterans experiencing homelessness over a year: between 110,320 to 172,578 − From 2011 AHAR • Majority of population in four states: CA, NY, TX, and FL
    6. 6. Demographics • Family status: − 98% individuals; increase in sheltered veterans in families, but overall numbers are small • Disability status: − 51% disabled • Gender: − 9 out of 10 are male • Ethnicity: − 52% white; declining percentages of minority homeless veterans • Age: − 81% between ages 31 and 61 − Bimodal distribution of old and young: 9.5% age 62 and older, 9.1% age 30 and younger 6 Background on Veteran Homelessness
    7. 7. 7 Trends • Homelessness and women veterans − 1,380 in FY 2006; 3,328 in FY 2010; FY 2013?? − Factors that impact total numbers: • Data improvements and limitations; Impact of prevention and rapid re- housing initiatives; Impact of HUD-VASH • Homeless veterans in families: − 2% of homeless veterans are part of a family − Factors that impact total numbers: • National mainstream trends; impact of HUD-VASH and prevention programs • OIF/OEF/OND veterans: − 5% of all veterans are between the ages of 18 and 30 − 9% of homeless veterans are in this age group • Aging veterans − 42.3% of veterans in shelter are between the ages 51 and 61 Background on Veteran Homelessness
    8. 8. Major Needs of Homeless Veterans Background on Veteran Homelessness
    9. 9. Factors Contributing to Decline in Homelessness Numbers • Better data • Better coordination on the local level • More resources • Five Year Plan: − Access to Medical Care − Access to Income Security − Access to Housing − Prevention Services Background on Veteran Homelessness
    10. 10. Homelessness in Rural Areas • Data limitations • What we DO know: − Primary “homeless” living situations for people in rural areas: • Limited shelters • Overcrowded homes • Substandard housing • Outdoors − Balance of State CoCs: • General homeless population: 15.3% (or 96,450 people) were counted in BoS or statewide CoCs − Sheltered versus unsheltered: • the majority of homeless persons are in sheltered homeless situations, whereas in regions with warmer climates, the majority of homeless populations were unsheltered • Among major city CoCs, Omaha, NE had the highest rate of sheltered homelessness in 2012, with 98.6% of its homeless population counted in shelters on the night of the PIT count Veterans and Homelessness in Rural Areas
    11. 11. Veterans and Homelessness in Rural Areas Veterans in Rural Areas • Demographics: − 1/3 of OIF/OEF veterans return to “rural” or “highly rural” areas − Larger percentage of non-urban veterans from Vietnam and Persian Gulf era • Veteran homelessness: − 12.6% (or 7,898 veterans) were located in a BoS or statewide CoCs
    12. 12. Service Challenges for Veterans in Rural Areas • “Gaining Ground, Losing Ground” • Access to Medical Care: − Less frequent use of VA services − Less access to community mental health services − Increased stigma of service utilization − Shortage of primary healthcare workers, specialists locally • Access to Income Security: − Higher and more prolonged unemployment − Less access to public transportation services − Low-skill/seasonal job prevalence • Access to Housing: − Disconnect between employment and housing location − Restricted homelessness definitions 12 Challenges Faced by At-Risk and Homeless Rural Veterans
    13. 13. Legal Issues as Barriers to Medical Care, Income Security, and Housing • Decreased access to housing alternatives • Restricted employment opportunities • Ineligible for VA benefits payments • Ineligible for VA medical services • Ineligible for Vet Center family counseling and mental health services Challenges Faced by At-Risk and Homeless Rural Veterans
    14. 14. 14 Programs for Homeless and At-Risk Rural Veterans Major Federal Programs • Medical Care • Income Security − HVRP, American Job Centers, VA benefits, SSI/SSDI (SOAR) • Housing − Continuum of Care. Transitional Housing (GPD), HUD-VASH • Prevention Programs − SSVF, Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG)
    15. 15. Programs for Homeless and At-Risk Rural Veterans Medical Care (beyond VA) • VA eligible − VAMCs, Vet Centers, CBOCs, CRRCs − Telemedicine, VA’s Office of Rural Health • Not VA eligible/mainstream services − USDA Rural Development − Office of Rural Health Policy (ORHP) − ORHP-funded Rural Assistance Center (RAC) − Rural Development, Business and Cooperative Programs (BCP), Business Programs (BP) − Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) through HHS • provides access to essential health care services for people who are low- income, uninsured or who live in rural areas or urban neighborhoods where health care is scarce. • HRSA-funded health centers provide medical care to nearly 17 million patients at more than 4,000 sites
    16. 16. Income Security • Employment − Homeless Veteran Reintegration Program (HVRP) − American Job Centers: • Services from Disabled Veterans Outreach Specialists (DVOPs) and Local Veteran Employment Representatives (LVERs) − TAP DOL Employment Workshops: 240 locations worldwide • Benefits − SOAR − Expedited VA benefits processing Programs for Homeless and At-Risk Rural Veterans
    17. 17. Programs for Homeless and At-Risk Rural Veterans Housing • Permanent Housing (Other) • Permanent Supportive Housing: − housing that is designed to provide housing (project- and tenant-based) and supportive services on a long-term basis for homeless people, many of whom have disabilities • Transitional Housing: − a type of housing where homeless people may stay and receive supportive services for up to 24 months, and which are designed to enable them to move into permanent housing • Emergency Housing and Prevention: − a facility whose primary purpose is to provide temporary shelter for homeless persons LengthofIntervention Short-termLong-term
    18. 18. Programs for Homeless and At-Risk Rural Veterans
    19. 19. Programs for Homeless and At-Risk Rural Veterans Prevention: • Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) − In July 2012, VA awarded $100 million in SSVF grants to 151 organizations in 49 states − $300 million for FY 2013 − VA operated program for rapid re- housing and prevention − A “Housing First” philosophy is the focus of both the homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing interventions. • Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) • Continuum of Care Rapid Rehousing (CoC-RRH)
    20. 20. Challenges that Remain • Unemployment among aging veterans • Lack of hospice/assisted living care • Lost spouses • Age-related illnesses (lack of prevention services) • Housing repairs/retrofitting • Strain on family members • Limited internet resource access
    21. 21. What You Can Do Many roles to play… • As a housing provider • As a service provider • As a VSO • As a community partner • As an employer
    22. 22. Contact information: Baylee Crone NCHV 333 ½ Pennsylvania Avenue, SE Washington, DC 20003 202-546-1969