The Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Veterans Affairs awarded just over $1 million Wednesday to a program that tries to tackle veteran homelessness.
Started in 2008, the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program provides Housing Choice rental assistance vouchers to veterans, in addition to supportive services from V.A.
The award will fund an estimated 177 vouchers throughout Texas. Veterans participating in the HUD-VASH program contribute no more than 30 percent of their income toward rent.
“Essentially, housing authorities request from us these vouchers. Since rents are different in different communities, the amount of money it takes to cover those rents varies,” said Scott Hudman of HUD's regional office in Dallas.
He said the HUD-VASH program takes a three-pronged approach, combining housing with medical and case management.
"In the homeless population, you'll find people that are in and out of shelters, in and out of housing,” he said. “A lot of that is due to the fact that they just don't have solid medical care and a support net underneath them lifting them up."
As part of the program, VA provides case management and clinical services at VA medical centers and community-based outreach clinics.
HUD-VASH also provides life-skills training in financial literacy, with a focus on keeping people housed.
“We not only get them off the streets,” Hudman said. “We can help keep them off the streets.”
HUD-VASH vouchers are limited to those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Those interested can apply through their local V.A. system.
38 vouchers in total were awarded to the San Antonio and Bexar County housing authorities.
More than 6,000 vouchers are already active in the state.
Carson Frame can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @carson_frame