Part of the issue in the past has been that policy was not guided by evidence. The Obama Administration was in part able to win these gains by actually using evidence in its decision-making. In the 1990s, for example, Congress cut funding for veterans with substance abuse issues, despite evidence showing no correlation between disability payments and substance abuse (Frisman & Rosenheck, 1997) -- an example of certain factions in Congress using their ignorance and hatred as a weapon against this disproportiantely minority group.
Working with other agencies is a valuable component of Obama-era policy because of the strong connections between veteran homelessness and substance abuse and mental health services. Those factors were predictors of homelessness and admittance to care programs for homeless veterans in one 1995 survey (Wenzel, et al., 1995). In other words, significant gains were made in the fight against veteran homelessness simply by tackling some of the factors -- predominantly mental illness and substance abuse -- that are known contributors to the problem. Further, one can posit that minority veterans are more susceptible to homelessness when they come from lower socio-economic starting positions; white veterans likely suffer just as much from these issues, but where there starting positions in life are better they might be able to retain homes.
Housing and Urban Development (HUD) works with the VA on VA Supportive Housing (VASH), also known as the HUD-VASH program. This program provides vouchers that deliver rent assistance in private housing for veterans who are eligible for VA health services and are experiencing homelessness. There are both grant and per diem components to this plan. The VA works with over 600 different agencies that strive to place homeless veterans, and these have access to 14,500 eligible beds, which can serve as temporary housing until a permanent placement can be found. There are a variety of smaller programs that also contribute to the total…
Public Policy Assessment Homelessness is a public policy issue that is relevant for almost every community, especially within the veteran community, where there is a general appreciation that individuals who have served their country should be looked after. The development of policies to improve a situation can be complex with many different influences and concerns various stakeholders. The use of a decision making model that breaks down the process into its
Veterans & Retirees; Is Government Keeping its Promise This study aimed at exploring the experiences and perceptions of Veterans belonging to Lousiana and Mississippi about three variables; the accessibility of organization; the accessibility of benefits and availability and adequacy of the facilities being provided by government through VA. The respondents were also asked to suggest whether there is a need for improvement and what should VA do to provide benefits and
But mentally disturbed individuals, being confined to a greater proclivity toward chronic homelessness, are a separate problem, addressed most directly by the Center for Mental Health Services, which is a federally chaired organization. The CMHS is a channel through which policy regarding disbursement of social resources is implemented. It garners all of its data from the National Resource Center of Homelessness and Mental Illness, which is the only agency
Veterans experience a variety of mental health problems, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, aggression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia (Wooten, 2015). More specifically, statistics indicate that up to 50% of veterans experience PTSD (Institute of Medicine [IOM], 2013). These problems often stem from exposure to combat. Mental health problems among veteran are further compounded by other problems such as financial difficulties, joblessness, marriage problems, social isolation, and homelessness (Smith
Homelessness Is homelessness increasing in the United States? Homelessness has become progressively more apparent in the United States over the past quarter century. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has amassed a wealth of data that confirm low-income housing is a critical requirement. Even as some communities are realizing a decrease in their homeless population; others are experiencing the opposite. It is disheartening to note that the largest increase in
Crime is not the only issue where homelessness is concerned, however, and homelessness in and of itself can be very difficult for someone to deal with, especially if the homelessness was unexpected or there are many familial obligations that suddenly will not be met (such as in the case of a single mother, for example). When homelessness occurs this way and causes these kinds of problems, there can be very