Good or Bad, Lets Create Some Better Ideas.

Good or Bad, Lets Create Some Better Ideas.

i have an idea

by Levi Newman on July 14, 2011

At first glace, this looks really good.  The VA announces that another $46 million is made available to VA facilities to help homeless veterans.  Most of this is in the form of “rental vouchers.”  Vouchers provided to veterans who are willing to work with the VA in making an effort to go from homelessness to self sustainable.

Then I read the actual distribution information, and I notice that some facilities, even some entire states, are being awarded less money than some people make for a year’s salary.   Some of the very populous states, such as Texas, Florida, are receiving a total of $3 million or more.  Others though, make me tilt my head sideways and wonder.  Just exactly how much rent is $52,000 expected to cover?  (North Dakota)  The spreadsheet says this is supposed to cover 15 rental vouchers.

So I have some questions that I would love to get the community’s input on.  How many of you have met and associated with a veteran who went through a period of abject homelessness?  Was it the VA that helped them?  How does the VA find the homeless veterans in need of help?  I can’t imagine that someone is actually walking the streets….looking for those in need.
So lets create some ideas, folks.  Respond in the comments here, on facebook, or on twitter, with ideas that you think are constructive, realistic methods to reach out to the homeless veterans–to reach out to the unreachable.  I know we’ll all be tempted to comment back with complaints about politicians’ salaries and other nonsense.  Lets keep that for another time and come up with new things instead.

Lets create ways to help those we keep saying deserve it the most.

What am I going to do with all your responses?

I’m going to email them to U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, and see what we get for a response.

 

Photo thanks to Matthew Wynn under creative commons licence on flickr.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

dave carmean July 14, 2011 at 3:09 pm

I have known several vets that are and still want 2 b homeless. it’s not a homeless thing to them it’s a freedom thing. we can always find shelter, food, water, if u know where 2 look, how 2 cook, and build. it is the money the VA wastes this is the problem. they want 2 spend millions 2 build clinics that r outdated before they r even built. one example. i have been going 2 my clinc after they built the new one for about 6 years now. it’s pretty bad when u go there and all the money the put into it they don’t even have an x-ray machine. the va system 2 help the vets r more about the new ones coming home now. not our other ones that have been here. thank u

Reply

TIMOTHY BYRD July 14, 2011 at 3:11 pm

HOW ABOUT THE VETERAN WHO HAS LOST HIS JOB DUE TO A DISABILITY & HAS LITTLE TO NO INCOME WHEN ARE WE GONNA GET SOME KIND OF ASSISTANCE TO RENT?

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Amy J July 15, 2011 at 11:57 am

If you are a veteran who has lost his job due to a disability and you have no income, your county veteran service officer can help you apply for a state program called Subsistence Benfits offered through the state of MN. Thanks..

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TIMOTHY BYRD July 18, 2011 at 7:43 pm

WHERE WOULD I LOOK TO FIND MY VETERAN SERVICE OFFICER FOR BALTIMORE COUNTY, MARYLAND?

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MLS July 20, 2011 at 1:38 pm

BALTIMORE SERVICE CENTER
Veterans Service Officer (410) 230-4444; 1-800-446-4926, ext. 6450 (toll free)
G. H. Fallon Federal Building, Room 1231, 31 Hopkins Plaza, Baltimore, MD 21201
e-mail: debra.hynes@va.gov
fax: (410) 230-4445

Hope this helps

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J. Lee Kenser July 14, 2011 at 3:13 pm

Frankly many who are homeless Veterans probably feel like the Military branch, the VA & the government abandoned them after the served their country earning those “so-called benefits” the system is designed to be antagonistic about giving to them.

The system needs to be less designed to fight against providing benefits and more toward actually accomplishing the goals it pretends to be attempting to achieve in the first place.

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Mike Fayette July 14, 2011 at 3:26 pm

Some (not all certainly) veteran homelessness is related/associated with the ciriminal justice system. There is a cause and effect relationship by and between homelessness and formerly incarcerated. There is also a relationship of joblessness and homelessness.

Every state/county/municipality has a probation/parole entity. Why not seek outreach through these vehicles to identify, assist and support homeless AND jobless vets?

DoJ and many correctional institutions receive grant dollars for honorably discharged veterans that are/have been incarcerated. Are these monies being used after a veterans’ release? Many homeless veterans need or are required to have a job via probation/parole edict. Let’s track down honorably discharged offenders who may now be homeless through DoJ/Corrections roles.

Then, let’s offer them jobs. Many states are experiencing significant budget deficits due to dwindling resouces. Many state facilities are without adequate custodial, maintenance, security, etc. personnel due to a reduction in pay/benefits. Many previously incarcerated veterans have skills! A job for a previously incarcerated veteran is tough to get, but perhaps we can offer them something that adds value to them and society – even if it’s a low pay opportunity.

A homeless veteran with a job won’t remain homeless for long.

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Audrey Beebe July 19, 2011 at 3:48 pm

Timothy,

Go here: http://www.dbm.state.md.us/phonebook/OfficeSub.asp?OID=2736
That gives you the contact info for the Maryland State VA Benefits and Assistance office. It looks like, because Maryland is just a small state that they don’t have specific offices for individual counties.

Reply

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