Ending Veteran homelessness is our moral imperative, a duty to those who have served. The vast majority of Veterans return home in good health and good spirits. Minnesota identified 317 Veterans experiencing homelessness in the 2014 Point-in-Time count, and homelessness among Veterans has dropped by 47 percent in Minnesota from 2010 to 2014.
We cannot rest while brave men and women who served to protect our communities experience homelessness within them. Heading Home: Minnesota’s Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness sets the goal of ending Veteran homelessness on a Veteran-by-Veteran basis by 2015. That means that we provide each Veteran and their family experiencing homelessness with appropriate, effective solutions.
Ending homelessness does not mean that a Veteran will never experience a housing crisis. Financial hardships and the unpredictability of life mean that Veterans may face housing crises or may experience homelessness. We are here to help Veterans and Minnesota’s communities ensure a rapid response so that homelessness is prevented whenever possible, and if it cannot be prevented, is a brief, nonrecurring experience, with a rapid return to housing. Together, we can ensure that every Veteran in Minnesota has a place to call home.
Resources to help Veterans end homelessness are listed on LinkVet and include the following programs:
Know that one phone call can be the difference in the life of a Veteran who is homeless or at imminent risk of becoming homeless. Make the Call to 877-4AID-VET (424-3838) to be connected 24/7 with the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs services to overcome or prevent homelessness for yourself or a Veteran you know.
The Minnesota Operation For Veterans Empowerment (MOVE) program temporally assists homeless Veterans at the Union Gospel Mission in St. Paul, MN. Assistance includes one-on-one case management with an MDVA Outreach Representative and a paid bed at the mission during case management. Veterans work with the case manager to select the various types of resources needed in order to help empower them to move beyond their current situation.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program combines Housing Choice Voucher rental assistance for homeless Veterans with case management and clinical services provided by the federal U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA). USDVA provides these services for participating Veterans at VA medical centers and community-based outreach clinics. To help Minnesota Veterans needing rent assistance through the HUD-VASH program, MDVA will pay the unsubsidized deposit amount, with the assurance from HUD that the Veteran will be able to pay their future subsidized rent moving forward. This is a once-per-lifetime benefit.
Please contact your County Veteran Service Officer for assistance or more information on this or other benefits. Find your CVSO at www.macvso.org or by calling 1-888-LinkVet (546-5838), MDVA’s one-stop customer service line for all Minnesota Veterans and their families.
The Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans (MAC-V) provides assistance throughout Minnesota to positively motivated Veterans and their families who are homeless or experiencing other life crises. MAC-V accomplishes its mission by providing services directly or in collaboration with other service agencies.
For more information about efforts to end Veteran homelessness in Minnesota, please contact Eric I. Grumdahl, Special Advisor on Ending Veteran Homelessness, Minnesota Office to Prevent and End Homelessness at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (651) 201-8230.