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FY 2014 Veterans Appropriations: Sample Congressional Talking Points
Advocacy Resource | May 13, 2013
$1.4 billion would provide case management for approximately 10,000 new HUD-VASH vouchers, fund $300 million for Supportive Services for Veteran Families, and increase funding for other key homeless veteran programs.
• Need. There are approximately 62,600 homeless veterans on any given night in America. HUD-VASH has housed many chronically homeless veterans, but the job is not finished. In addition, homeless veterans are increasingly younger, female, and/or part of a family, and many need less intensive interventions and housing services, such as prevention and rapid re-housing services.
• Continue Progress. We are within striking distance of reaching VA’s goal of ending homelessness among veterans by 2015. Between 2011 and 2012, veteran homelessness fell by more than 7 percent. VA has used increased resources in recent years to work with its local partners and HUD to bring its response to scale and to operate a variety of programs to meet each veteran’s individual needs.
o Cost-Effectiveness. A number of studies have demonstrated that permanent supportive housing, such as that provided by HUD-VASH, is a cost-effective approach that helps people who have intensive needs maintain stable housing. SSVF builds upon the proven, cost-efficient models implemented by the main homeless assistance system to prevent homelessness in the first place or to rapidly place veterans and/or their families back into housing, thus reducing shelter and other emergency services costs.
• Community Partnerships. VA made a strong commitment to ending homelessness among veterans by 2015 and has worked to develop a range of interventions for each veteran’s individual needs. These programs have strengthened collaboration between VA and key community partners, resulting in increased local capacity to serve homeless and at-risk veterans.
• I hope we can count on you to work with your colleagues on the Appropriations Committee to ensure that the final FY 2014 VA Appropriations Act provides a funding level of $1.4 billion for VA’s homeless programs, including $300 million for the SSVF program, in order to ensure that no veteran is homeless in America by 2015.