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VA Boston Healthcare System

 

Homeless Veterans

Homeless Services at VA Boston Healthcare System is an integral part of healthcare, as we strive to eradicate homelessness amongOlder man sitting on a stoop veterans. We assist veterans with homeless prevention services as well as with emergency, transitional and permanent housing options.

We also assist veterans with establishing comprehensive care plans (medical, mental health, substance abuse treatment) within the VA Boston Healthcare System.

Services offered:
Walk-in clinic
Outreach services
Emergency housing
Transitional housing (GPD)
Housing search assistance (PHLAG)
Women's Homelessness Program

VA Boston HCHV Walk in Clinic:
This Open Access Clinic is offered for veterans that are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless to learn about housing options offered through the Grant and Per Diem Program, HUD/VASH, PHLAG, as well as community resources.
 -Jamaica Plain Campus: Monday-Friday 9:00am-11:00am and 1:00pm-3:00pm Room D3-122
 -Brockton Campus:  Every Thursday at 2:00pm in Building 7 Room A113

Outreach Services:

* The Homeless Outreach Team:
They work closely with Emergency Shelters and Homeless Transitional Programs throughout the state. They will work to help you get connected to a safe place to stay as you begin your involvement with VA programs and services.  There are several local Emergency Shelters that VA staff conduct outreach to:

New England Center for Homeless Veterans
http://www.nechv.org/
Pine Street Inn
http://www.pinestreetinn.org/
City of Boston: Woods Mullen Shelter
http://www.bphc.org/programs/homeless/emergencyshelter/Pages/Home.aspx
City of Lynn Emergency Shelter
http://www.lynnemergencyshelter.org
Father Bill's & Main Spring-Quincy/Brockton
http://helpfbms.org/ 

National Call Center for Homeless Veterans:
The Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) has founded a National Call Center for Homeless Veterans hotline to ensure that homeless Veterans or Veterans at-risk for homelessness have free, 24/7 access to trained counselors. The hotline is intended to assist homeless Veterans and their families. To be connected with a trained VA staff member call 1-877-4AID VET (877-424-3838)

 Call for yourself or someone else
 Free and confidential
 Trained VA counselors to assist
 Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
 Information about VA homeless programs and mental health services in your area

What will happen when I call?
 You will be connected to a trained VA staff member.
 Hotline staff will conduct a brief screen to assess your needs.
 Homeless Veterans will be connected with the Homeless Point of Contact at the nearest VA facility.
 Family members and non-VA providers calling on behalf of a homeless Veteran will be provided with information regarding the homeless programs and services available.
 Contact information will be requested so staff may follow-up.

Stand Down:
Stand Downs are just one part of the Department of Veterans Affairs' efforts to provide services to homeless Veterans. Stand Downs are typically one to three day events providing services to homeless Veterans such as food, shelter, clothing, health screenings, VA and Social Security benefits counseling, and referrals to a variety of other necessary services, such as health care, housing, employment, and substance use treatment. Stand Downs are collaborative events, coordinated between local VAs, other government agencies, and community agencies serving the homeless.

You can find a list of Stand Down’s that are happening across the country at:
http://www.va.gov/HOMELESS/StandDown.asp

Veteran Justice Outreach:
The purpose of the Veteran Justice Outreach Initiative (VJO) initiative is to avoid the unnecessary criminalization of mental illness and extended incarceration among Veterans by ensuring that eligible justice-involved Veterans have timely access to VHA mental health and substance abuse services when clinically indicated, and other VA services and benefits as appropriate.  For further information please contact Anthony Zelano, LICSW at 617-799-9003.

Jason McCall, MSW, LICSW
Veterans Justice Outreach Coordinator
Brockton VA Medical Center
Phone: (617) 659-0207

Or

Denise Flynn, MSW, LICSW
Veterans Justice Outreach Coordinator
Community Based Outreach Clinic-Causeway Street
Phone: (617) 990-7553
http://www.va.gov/homeless/vjo.asp


There were several awardees for the State of Massachusetts depending on what county you reside in:
Norfolk County or Plymouth County-Father Bill’s& Mainspring
http://helpfbms.org/
The rest of Massachusetts-Veterans Inc.
http://www.veteransinc.org/services/supportive-services-for-veteran-families/

For more information:
http://www.va.gov/homeless/ssvf.asp

Emergent Financial Assistance:

Otherwise known as Chapter 115,  which is a program offered through the State Of Massachusetts Department of Veteran’s Services.  Please contact your local Veterans’ Service Officer to see if you may qualify:
 
http://www.mass.gov/veterans/utility/local-veterans-service-officers-15.html

Emergency Housing:

Emergency Residential Contract Program:

The WORTH Program (Working On Recovery through Triage to Housing) is a partnership with Father Bills' and Mainspring at their Quincy, Brockton and Stoughton (specifically for families) sites. We also have a placement at the New England Center for Homeless Veterans in Boston. This program provides emergency shelter and intensive case management services to male and female veterans/families.   For further information please contact Lauren Dever, LICSW at 857-364-4027.

Emergency Shelters:

There are a number of Emergency Shelters around metro Boston that VA staff conduct outreach to:

New England Center for Homeless Veterans
http://www.nechv.org/
Pine Street Inn
http://www.pinestreetinn.org/
City of Boston: Woods Mullen Shelter
http://www.bphc.org/programs/homeless/emergencyshelter/Pages/Home.aspx
City of Lynn Emergency Shelter
http://www.lynnemergencyshelter.org
Father Bill's & Main Spring-Quincy/Brockton
http://helpfbms.org/
There are many other emergency shelters throughout the State of Massachusetts:
http://www.homelessshelterdirectory.org/massachusetts.html

Many additional programs exist to assist veterans with housing:
 
Father Bill's & MainSpring http://helpfbms.org/page.aspx?pid=329 
New England Center for Homeless Veterans http://www.nechv.org/ 
Pine Street Inn http://www.pinestreetinn.org/programs_veteran.php

Housing search assistance (PHLAG: Permanent Housing Location Assistance Group):
 

A weekly peer support / self help group for currently homeless veterans that provides apartment search information and problem solving assistance to overcome housing acceptance barriers such as low credit rating, CORI / legal problems and poor housing histories. The group takes place every Friday from 8am to 11am at the Causeway Street Outpatient Clinic and is facilitated by Carol Klein, LICSW. Her phone number is (617) 248-1373.

Women's Homelessness Program: 

Provides intensive case management and clinical services to homeless women veterans, their children and women veterans at risk for homelessness in metro Boston and surrounding areas.

• Women Veterans' Health Center – services include primary care, urgent care, gynecology, birth control, breast health, nutrition and more.
• Women's Stress Disorder Treatment Team – comprehensive outpatient trauma related services .
• Trust House: Women's Transitional Residency Program – safe, stable, affordable housing in a treatment focused community setting.

If you have any questions, please contact the Women’s Homelessness Program Director Lauren Dever, LICSW at (857) 364-4027 or the Women Veteran’s Program Manager Carolyn Mason Wholley at (857) 364-5994.

Employment search services (HVSEP: Homeless Veterans Supported Employment Program):
Provides vocational assistance, job development and placement and ongoing supports to improve employment outcomes among homeless veterans and veterans at-risk of homelessness. These are veterans who have been trained as Vocational Rehabilitation Specialists (VRSs) who provide these services. Veteran’s must be currently enrolled in a Healthcare for Homeless Veteran’s program to be eligible. If you have any questions, please contact Terry McDonough at (774) 826-1980.

National Child Support Initiative:
The Veterans Administration, Department of Health and Human Services, and the American Bar Association may be able to offer help with issues surrounding child support as part of the effort to prevent homelessness among veterans.

All veterans participating in this initiative must be homeless, or at risk of homelessness, live in Massachusetts OR have a child support case which has been transferred to Massachusetts; and must meet the low income guidelines.  For further information please contact David Gillis at 617-780-8452 at the Jamaica Plain office or Debra J. Locke, M.Ed.,CPRP,VRS at 781-687-2427 at the Bedford VA.

Domiciliary Care for Homeless Veterans Rehabilitation:
The REACH Program Domiciliary is located on the grounds of the Brockton Campus of the VA Boston Healthcare System.  This is a treatment program that is designed to assist homeless veterans with housing assistance and placement, vocational assessment, job training/placement, mental health as well as physical health.  For further information please contact the REACH program at 774-826-1714. http://www.va.gov/HOMELESS/DCHV.asp

Helpful Links:

Main VA Homeless Page:
http://www.va.gov/homeless/
Massachusetts Department of Veteran’s Services:
http://www.mass.gov/portal/

If you are a Veteran who has lost your home, VA can help you get back on your feet. Contact VA’s National Call Center for Homeless Veterans at 1-877-4AID-VET (1-877-424-3838) to speak to a trained VA responder. The hotline and online chat are free and neither VA registration nor enrollment in VA healthcare is required to use either service.

When you call or join the online chat:

  • You will be connected to a trained VA responder. 
  • The responder will ask a few questions to assess your needs.
  • If you’re a Veteran, you may be connected with the Homeless Program point of contact at the nearest VA facility.
  • Contact information will be requested so staff may follow up.

VA offers these services, all available via 1-877-4AID-VET, to homeless Veterans and Veterans at risk of homelessness and their families:

Opportunities to return to employment

group in hospital

VA’s Compensated Work Therapy (CWT) is comprised of three unique programs which assist homeless Veterans in returning to competitive employment: Sheltered Workshop, Transitional Work, and Supported Employment. Veterans in CWT are paid at least the federal or state minimum wage, whichever is higher.

The Homeless Veteran Supported Employment Program (HVSEP) provides vocational assistance, job development and placement, and ongoing supports to improve employment outcomes among homeless Veterans and Veterans at-risk of homelessness. Formerly homeless Veterans who have been trained as Vocational Rehabilitation Specialists (VRSs) provide these services.

Safe Housing

The Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem Program provides grants and per diem payments (as funding is available) to help public and nonprofit organizations establish and operate supportive housing and service centers for homeless Veterans. Learn more about the Grant Per Diem Program

sample photo

HUD-VA Supportive Housing (VASH) Program is a joint effort between the Department of Housing and Urban Development and VA. HUD allocated nearly 38,000 "Housing Choice" Section 8 vouchers across the country. These vouchers allow Veterans and their families to live in market rate rental units while VA provides case management services. A housing subsidy is paid to the landlord on behalf of the participating Veteran. The Veteran then pays the difference between the actual rent charged by the landlord and the amount subsidized by the program. Learn more about the HUD-VASH Program.

The Acquired Property Sales for Homeless Providers Program makes all VA foreclosed properties available for sale to homeless provider organizations-at a 20 to 50 percent discount-to shelter homeless Veterans.

The Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) Program provides grants and technical assistance to community-based, nonprofit organizations to help Veterans and their families stay in their homes. Learn more about the SSVF program.

Health care

Doctor with patient

VA’s Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV) Program offers outreach, exams, treatment, referrals, and case management to Veterans who are homeless and dealing with mental health issues, including substance use. At more than 135 HCHV sites, trained, caring VA specialists provide tools and support necessary for Veterans to get their lives on a better track. Call VA’s toll-free hotline or visit the Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV) Program page.

VA’s Homeless Patient Aligned Care Teams (H-PACTs) Program provides a coordinated "medical home" specifically tailored to the needs of homeless Veterans that integrates clinical care with delivery of social services with enhanced access and community coordination. Implementation of this model is expected to address many of the health disparity and equity issues facing this population and result in reduced emergency department use and hospitalizations, improved chronic disease management, improved "housing readiness" with fewer Veterans returning to homelessness once housed. Homeless Patient Aligned Care Teams (H-PACTs) Program

VA’s Homeless Veterans Dental Program provides dental treatment for eligible Veterans in a number of programs: Domiciliary Residential Rehabilitation Treatment, VA Grant and Per Diem, Compensated Work Therapy/Transitional Residence, Healthcare for Homeless Veterans (contract bed), and Community Residential Care. VA is working to expand dental care to all eligible Veterans within this program. Homeless Veterans Dental Program

Project CHALENG (Community Homelessness Assessment, Local Education and Networking Groups) brings together providers, advocates, and other concerned citizens to identify the needs of homeless Veterans and work to meet those needs through planning and cooperative action. This process has helped build thousands of relationships between VA and community agencies so that together they can better serve homeless Veterans. For more information on Project CHALENG, call VA’s toll-free hotline or visit the Project CHALENG web page.

Mental health services

Doctor with patient

Veteran Justice Outreach provides eligible, justice-involved Veterans with timely access to VA’s mental health and substance use services when clinically indicated, and other VA services and benefits as appropriate.

VA’s Substance Use Disorder Treatment Enhancement Initiative provides substance use services in the community to aid homeless Veterans' recovery.

The Health Care for Re-Entry Veterans Program helps incarcerated Veterans successfully rejoin the community through supports including those addressing mental health and substance use problems.

The Readjustment Counseling Service’s Vet Center Programs feature community-based locations and outreach activities that help to identify homeless Veterans and match homeless Veterans with necessary services.