Veterans Assistance Programs

VA Programs for At-Risk Veterans & Their Families

Independently and with other federal agencies, VA strives to meet the needs of Veterans at risk of homelessness by providing various services that promote permanent housing and help Veterans achieve their full potential. Here are a few VA programs that are helping prevent homelessness among Veterans.

Homeless Veterans Housing

Veterans who are appropriate for this program must be VA healthcare-eligible Veterans. VA eligibility makes this determination. Veterans must also meet the federal definition of homelessness. HUD-VASH prioritizes the chronically homeless

Veterans who are appropriate candidates for this program demonstrate the most need or vulnerability and must need case management services in order to obtain and sustain independent community housing. HUD-VASH targets the chronically homeless Veteran who is the most vulnerable and often has severe mental or physical health problems and/or substance use disorders, with frequent emergency room visits, multiple treatment attempts, and limited access to other social supports. However, other Veterans who are homeless with diminished functional capacity and the resultant need for case management are also eligible for the program.

VA determines clinical eligibility for the program. The public housing authority (PHA) determines if the Veteran participant meets HUD's regulations for this program. The PHA will determine eligibility based on income limits. Also, the PHA will determine if any member of the household is required to maintain Lifetime Sexual Offender Registry status - those who do are not eligible to participate in this program.

The Tomah VA Medical Center is the office that works with veterans in Portage County. More information on Homeless Assistance Resources can be found on the VA Website. The National call center for homeless veterans is 877-4AID-VET 877-424-3838.

VORP - Veterans Outreach & Recovery Program

The Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs created a regional program to provide a vast array of support services for veterans and their families. The program provides outreach and support in the form of case management to veterans, ensuring connections to continual and effective treatment. This program provides life-sustaining and betterment resources to veterans and their families which may include behavioral health, housing, and employment resources. For more information, visit the DVA Website.

The program provides liaison support to community and government organizations that serve Wisconsin's veteran population, promoting veterans' benefits in order to maximize delivery to Wisconsin veterans. Regional Coordinators attend workshops, town hall meetings, stand-downs, and benefits fairs to reach out to all veterans. This program is a hands-on program that provides a valuable tool for veterans struggling with addiction or habitual homelessness. A brochure is available (PDF) if you would like more information about the program's focus and regions.

Supportive Services for Veterans Families (SSVF)

The goal of the SSVF Program is to promote housing stability for very low-income Veteran families.

The SSVF Program provides supportive services to very low-income Veteran families in or transitioning to permanent housing. Funds are granted to private non-profit organizations and consumer cooperatives that assist very low-income Veteran families by providing a range of supportive services designed to promote housing stability

Homelessness, a significant national problem, has many causes. Homeless individuals are often unemployed, unable to work, or have such low incomes that they cannot afford housing. Homeless Veterans are more likely to experience health and healthcare-related disparities. Some homeless individuals have disabling mental health, substance use disorders, or physical conditions that lead to, or compound, their homeless situation.

The SSVF Program is an integral part of the VA's continuum of homeless services, offering both rapid re-housing for homeless Veteran families and prevention services for those at imminent risk of homelessness.

The U.S. DVA has contracted with the Center for Veterans Issues (CVI), a non-profit organization to manage the local SSVF program. CVI provides other services for homeless veterans and their families. Visit the CVIVET Website for more information.