S. 91 would authorize the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to pay homeless grant providers to include care for homeless veteran’s minor dependents while the veteran is receiving services for which they are reimbursed. Authorizing payment for this care would ensure a homeless veteran does not have to choose between treatment and keeping her or his family together.
VA’s Homeless Grant and Per Diem (GPD) Program has long been an important source of transitional housing for homeless veterans. Generally operated by community providers who receive grant funding from VA, in 2017, these programs offered the homeless veteran population 12,500 beds devoted to providing supportive housing and/or supportive services. Veterans may enter these programs to stabilize their medical and behavioral health issues, learn or re-learn independent living and vocational skills and seek services and benefits that help them recover from life on the streets. Most veterans stay in transitional housing for about 6 months.
This bill is in accord with DAV Resolution No. 291 which supports sustained and sufficient funding to improve services for homeless veterans and DAV Resolution No. 173 which supports VA’s provision of child care services and assistance for a variety of VA programs including those for homeless veterans.