Five Strategies for Building a Successful Relationship with Your Local VA

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National Alliance to End Homelessness

Solutions Brief | December 20, 2010

Files: PDF | 72 KB | 3 pages

Five Strategies for Building a Successful Relationship with Your Local VA Eric Shinseki, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently committed to ending homelessness among veterans in five years. In order to reach that goal, each local VA Medical Center has been asked to create and implement its own five year plan for ending veteran homelessness. As a result, there is a renewed focus on creating strong partnerships between VA Medical Centers and local homelessness assistance systems so that strategies to end homelessness can be coordinated and resources maximized to end homelessness for veterans.

Five Strategies for Building a Successful Relationship with Your Local VA

Eric Shinseki, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently committed to ending homelessness among veterans in five years. In order to reach that goal, each local VA Medical Center has been asked to create and implement its own five year plan for ending veteran homelessness. As a result, there is a renewed focus on creating strong partnerships between VA Medical Centers and local homelessness assistance systems so that strategies to end homelessness can be coordinated and resources maximized to end homelessness for veterans.

To help VA Medical Center and communities forge these partnerships, the Alliance has looked for existing models of cooperation and collaboration. This brief identifies five promising strategies that homelessness assistance systems have used to create or strengthen their relationship with their local VA Medical Center. These strategies have been identified based on interviews with several communities that have strengthened the partnership between the two systems in recent years, including Minneapolis, MN; San Francisco, CA; and Washington, DC.

Strategies:

  • Bring VA staff into the community and the larger homelessness assistance system;
  • Make ending veteran homelessness a local priority;
  • Increase transparency and cooperation;
  • Help VA staff whenever possible through sharing resources and knowledge; and
  • Build political will.

For more information on each strategy, please download the full brief.