As we usher in the new year, a retrospective glance at our achievements in 2023 showcases a commendable success in meeting and even surpassing our resolutions. In a recent episode of “Ending Veteran Homelessness” from December 2023, Monica Diaz, the Executive Director of VA’s Homeless Programs Office, provided valuable insights into the innovative approaches being employed to streamline responses for Veterans facing homelessness.
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter and stay up to date.
A standout accomplishment of 2023 was the early achievement of our primary goal, housing 38,000 Veterans, a feat accomplished two months ahead of schedule. The concerted efforts of VA’s dedicated staff not only reached this milestone but also surpassed several sub-goals. We engaged with nearly 35,000 unsheltered Veterans and ensured that an impressive 96.2% of Veterans previously housed remained in stable living conditions.
Embracing a ‘One Team’ Approach
A pivotal strategy contributing to the early success was the introduction of the “One Team” approach. This collaborative model seeks to dismantle silos within VA, fostering a more nimble and agile response to the needs of Veterans. Adopting a Veteran-centric philosophy, this approach rallies all relevant program offices and service providers within VA, along with external partner organizations, to collaboratively tailor services for each Veteran’s unique situation. Diaz highlighted the humbling experience of witnessing this unified effort, emphasizing how it played a vital role in achieving the ambitious goals set for the year.
Utilizing case conferencing, individuals from various levels and programs convened virtually to brainstorm innovative solutions. The simplicity and revolutionary impact of this approach became evident as diverse opinions and experiences were shared during these sessions.
Future Endeavors and Advocacy
Looking ahead, a key priority is to continue advocating for Veterans. The conclusion of the COVID-19 public health emergency led to a loss of funding flexibility, affecting beneficial services like rideshares to doctor’s appointments for homeless Veterans. A commitment to reinstating these services and securing funding flexibility will persist as we continue our efforts to support Veterans in need.
Explore VA Programs and Get Involved
For Veterans facing homelessness or at risk, a crucial resource is the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans at 877-4AID-VET (877-424-3838). Additionally, the VA Homeless Programs website provides comprehensive information on housing initiatives and other programs for Veterans exiting homelessness.
The “Ending Veteran Homelessness” podcast offers an in-depth look into VA’s actions against Veteran homelessness. Delve further into the ‘One Team’ approach by tuning in to a fireside chat with the Greater Los Angeles Health System.
For those interested in contributing to housing homeless Veterans, valuable information can be found by subscribing to the Homeless Programs Office newsletter, providing monthly updates on programs and supportive services for Veterans experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
How can Veterans facing homelessness seek assistance?
Veterans in need or at risk of homelessness can call the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans at 877-4AID-VET (877-424-3838).
Where can one learn about housing initiatives and programs for Veterans exiting homelessness?
The VA Homeless Programs website is a valuable resource for information on housing initiatives and various programs for Veterans exiting homelessness.
How can individuals get involved in supporting homeless Veterans?
To stay informed and contribute to housing homeless Veterans, individuals can subscribe to the Homeless Programs Office newsletter, offering monthly updates on programs and supportive services.
What insights are available through the “Ending Veteran Homelessness” podcast?
The podcast provides in-depth insights into VA’s actions against Veteran homelessness, offering a comprehensive understanding of ongoing efforts.