No man or woman who served their country should be without a safe place to rest his or her head, and yet, veteran homelessness remains a persistent problem throughout the U.S.
It is estimated that there are over 1,300 homeless veterans in Oregon on any given night, and many more who are at risk of homelessness due to poverty, lack of support networks and dismal living conditions.
Although these numbers have trended downward over the past decade, this still represents more than 10 percent of all homeless Oregonians. This means that those who have served in the military, men and women, are significantly more likely to be homeless than the general public.
Explore below for more information about benefits and programs available to homeless veterans or those facing financial crises. If you need help, contact ODVA or one of the following resources today.
Resources and Information
These programs provide a
daytime sanctuary where homeless veterans can clean up, wash their clothing,
and participate in a variety of therapeutic and rehabilitative activities.
Linkages with longer-term assistance are also available. Locations
For more information: Contact
your local Vet Center or
federal VA Community-Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) for locations
and services in your area.
Employment Opportunities for Homeless Veterans
The Homeless Veteran Supported Employment Program (HVSEP) provides vocational assistance, job development and placement, and ongoing supports to improve employment outcomes among homeless Veterans and Veterans at-risk of homelessness. Formerly homeless Veterans who have been trained as Vocational Rehabilitation Specialists (VRSs) provide these services.
VA’s Compensated Work Therapy (CWT) Program is a national vocational program comprised of three unique programs which assist homeless Veterans in returning to competitive employment: Sheltered Workshop, Transitional Work, and Supported Employment. Veterans in CWT are paid at least the federal or state minimum wage, whichever is higher.
VA's National Cemetery Administration and Veterans Health Administration have also formed partnerships at national cemeteries, where formerly homeless Veterans from the CWT program have received work opportunities.
The Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) Program assists Veterans with service-connected disabilities to prepare for, find, and keep suitable jobs. Services that may be provided include: Comprehensive rehabilitation evaluation to determine abilities, skills, and interests for employment; employment services; assistance finding and keeping a job; and On the Job Training (OJT), apprenticeship, and non-paid work experiences.
For more information: Federal VA: Homeless Veterans Employment
Emergency Financial Assistance
The Oregon Veterans’ Emergency Financial Assistance Program (OVEFAP) is for
veterans and their immediate family (spouse, unremarried surviving spouse,
child, or stepchild) who are in need of emergency financial assistance.
Assistance is granted one time only and average award amounts vary.
Emergency financial assistance includes, but is not limited
to, emergency or temporary housing and related housing expenses, such as
expenses for utilities, insurance, house repairs; mortgage or rent assistance;
emergency medical or dental expenses; and emergency transportation expenses.
VS1024 OVEFAP Application.pdf
For more information: contact ODVA at 503-373-2385.
Many military and service organizations have emergency
relief programs specifically designated to help veterans and military members
and their families. Inquire within local organizations about programs such as
the Air Force Aid Society, American Legion Temporary Financial Assistance, Army
Emergency Relief, Disabled American Veterans Disaster Relief Grants,
Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, Oregon National Guard Emergency Relief,
Salvation Army Home Front War Relief Program, and VFW Unmet Needs.
This joint Supported
Housing Program with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
provides permanent housing and ongoing case management treatment services for
homeless veterans who would not be able to live independently without the
support of case management.
HUD’s Section 8 Voucher
Program has designated vouchers to Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) throughout
the country for veterans who are homeless. These vouchers allow veterans to
live in communities served by their VA medical facility where case management
services can be provided.
For more information: Federal VA:
National Call Center for Homeless Veterans
If you are a homeless
veteran or trying to help a veteran avoid homelessness, contact the
federal VA’s National Call Center for Homeless Veterans at 877-4AID-VET
(877-424-3838) to speak to a trained VA responder. The hotline and online chat
are free and neither VA registration nor enrollment in VA healthcare is
required to use these services.
Expert responders staff
the hotline for homeless veterans 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The
responders can provide emergency support and resources to homeless veterans and
family members, as well as community agencies and non-VA providers.
Find out more: VA National Call
Stand Downs are one-to
three-day events that provide homeless veterans a variety of services and allow
VA and community-based service providers to reach more homeless veterans. Stand
downs give homeless veterans a temporary refuge where they can obtain food, shelter,
clothing and a range of community and VA assistance. In many locations, stand
downs provide health screenings, referral and access to long-term treatment,
benefits counseling, ID cards and access to other programs to meet their
Find out more: Federal VA: Homeless Veterans - Upcoming Events
Transitional Residence Program
Residence (TR) program is a work-based Psychosocial Residential Rehabilitation
Treatment Program offering a therapeutic residential setting for veterans
involved in Compensated Work Therapy (CWT). The TR program provides a rehabilitation-focused residential
setting for veterans recovering from chronic mental illness, chemical
dependency and homelessness.
TR provides a bridge
between hospitalization or intensive outpatient treatment and successful
community reintegration. It utilizes a residential therapeutic community of
peer and professional support, with a strong emphasis on increasing personal responsibility
and achievement of individualized rehabilitation goals.
This program differs from
other VA-operated residential bed programs in that participants contribute
(using their CWT earnings) to the cost of operating and maintaining their
residences and are responsible for planning, purchasing and preparing their own
Find out more: Federal VA Compensated Work Therapy