Partnerships Battle Homelessness Among Veterans

HUD-VASH and Other Veterans Assistance
Helping NJ Veterans End Homelessness

Partnerships Battle Homelessness Among VeteransThe Courier Post recently highlighted success stories telling how the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) – Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) and other Veterans Affairs (VA) assistance is ending homelessness for New Jersey veterans and their families. Assistance comes through both the rapid re-housing and Housing First models.

Seafin Perez and his family are living in a three-bedroom apartment in Mount Holley. Perez, a former military policeman who was medically discharged, was rapidly re-housed and received short-term assistance through a security deposit from the organization Soldier On. They had spent the summer homeless and living in a motel.

William Robinson of Camden had cycled through homelessness over the past 6 years. He has health issues due to his weight but at one time he worked as a nurses aid but since has lost his job and home. Robinson now is permanently housed through the HUD-VASH program, which comes through the Camden Housing Authority.

“I think people along the way saw who I was and they believed the things I was telling them that I wanted to be on my own and self-sufficient. I think the VA is very much committed to helping veterans. I don’t know what I would have done without them.”

Robinson said.

Success stories such as Robinsons are examples of how Housing First is effectively ending chronic homelessness in New Jersey but additional funding is needed.

“’We are advocating for more Housing First programs in New Jersey,’ … Buck added Housing First programs have reduced health care spending on medically and socially complex clients — including some veterans — by more than 70 percent.”

Said Elizabeth Buck, program director of the Camden Coalition of Health Care Providers.

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