New York City has reduced veteran homelessness by nearly 90% since 2011. In December 2015, NYC became the largest city in the country to be certified by the federal government for ending chronic veteran homelessness (homelessness for our most vulnerable veterans). New York City is approaching "Functional Zero" — a national standard of housing homeless veterans within 90 days of entering the homeless system.
As a lead agency in New York City's effort to reach and sustain Functional Zero, the NYC Department of Veterans' Services developed a three-step approach to housing formerly homeless veterans:
DVS has a team of Veteran Peer Coordinators (VPCs) who provide direct, peer-to-peer assistance to homeless and at-risk veterans in shelters by:
DVS increases the supply of housing available to homeless veterans by finding brokers, property owners, and managers who are looking to house homeless veterans.
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DVS provides Aftercare Assistance to make sure that formerly homeless veterans stay housed. Services include:
Contact 646-808-5212 for more information on aftercare support. For homelessness prevention assistance veterans should call the DVS main line: 212-416-5250
The Housing and Urban Development Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) Continuum program is a partnership between DVS and the New York City Housing Authority that creates paths to permanent housing for disconnected veterans and their families.
In New York City 30-40% of veterans without permanent housing are not eligible for VA vouchers. These disconnected veterans had remained in limbo in municipal and nonprofit facilities – for over a year on average – unable to be connected to resources for housing. Once provided a VASH Continuum voucher and given DVS peer to peer support, these veterans are able to find permanent, affordable housing. This program has been especially successful in assisting female veterans who are disproportionately disconnected to services, and senior veterans who have made up 41% of the applicants to date.
The HUD-VASH Continuum program launched in 2017. Throughout the first year of the program, NYCHA, DVS, and our partners were able to secure housing assistance for over 100 veterans and families who had been disconnected from support services due to ineligibility based on length of time in the military service or their discharge status.