On the first day of Congress, the new Chair of the Health Subcommittee of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Rep. Julia Brownley, introduced H.R. 95 to modify the calculation of per diem payments the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) makes to homeless grant providers to include partial payment for each of a homeless veteran’s minor dependents. This would better insure that a homeless veteran does not have to choose between treatment and keeping her or his family together.
VA’s Homeless Grant and Per Diem (GPD) Program has long been an important source of transitional housing for homeless veterans. Generally operated by comm unity providers who receive grant funding from VA, in 2017, these programs offered the homeless veteran population 12,500 beds devoted to providing supportive housing and/or supportive services. Veterans may enter these programs to address their medical and behavioral health issues, learn or re-learn independent living and vocational skills and seek services and benefits that help them recover from homelessness. Most veterans stay in transitional housing for about 6 months. VA states that in 2017-14,500 veterans exited GPO for permanent housing.
This bill is in line with DAV Resolution No. 291, urging congress to continue to authorize and appropriate funds for competitive grants to community-based and public organizations including the Department of Housing and Urban Development to provide health and supportive services to homeless veterans placed in permanent housing.
Please support H.R. 95 to assist our homeless veterans and their families. Please use the prepared letter to urge your Representative in Congress to support this critical legislation.