One-stop-shop for homeless vets coming soon to a community near you?

written by Ian Lisman
March 25, 2013

Over the last year or so, the Department of Veterans Affairs has been implementing a new model, the Community Resource and Referral Center or “CRRC.” Basically, it’s a one-stop-shop for homeless and at-risk veterans, and it’s being tested in 17 urban sites across the nation. Most of these initial test sites are currently operating and more are planned for the future. So, what exactly is this new model and how does it work?

The CRRC is VA’s attempt to develop a centralized assessment of homeless veterans at the community level. The goal is to get vets connected to stable housing and supportive services. These centers assess veterans for programs and services, both within VA and community-based organizations. Besides offering housing assistance through VASH Referrals, SSVF interventions and other housing services, CRRCs also offer medical services, employment and training services, hygiene and laundry services, benefit assessment (both VA and non-VA) and much more.

As of November 2012, five of the 17 CRRCs sites in various phases of development were already fully operational in the cities of Denver, Colorado, Detroit, Michigan, Portland, Oregon, and Washington DC. Eleven other sites are providing services in temporary facilities until new locations are developed. One site (New Orleans) is still under development. As this pilot phase is rolled out, future sites will be planned based of the effectiveness and results of the current sites.

Here is a list of the current sites.

Community leaders, providers and anyone else serious about ending veteran homelessness should stay in touch with their local Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) homeless coordinator who acts as a liaison between the VA homeless system and the greater homelessness community.

To see a list of all the VAMC homeless coordinators, check out the VA website, where you can find out if there is a CRRC site in your community or nearby.