The American Legion supports the efforts of public and private sector agencies and organizations that aid homeless veterans and their families. Additionally, the Legion supports legislative proposals to provide medical, rehabilitative and employment assistance to homeless veterans and their families.
The Legion recognizes that aiding homeless veterans requires a sustained coordinated effort, which should provide secure housing and nutritious meals; essential physical health care, substance abuse aftercare and mental-health counseling; as well as personal development and empowerment. Homeless veterans also need job assessment, training and placement assistance. The ultimate goal is total self management for the homeless veteran.
The American Legion has stepped up its support for homeless veterans, coordinating a Homeless Veterans Task Force among its departments to augment homeless service providers and fill in the gaps where no assistance programs are available. All departments have a Homeless Veterans Task Force chairperson and an Employment chairperson who are capable of providing assistance to any homeless or financially destitute veteran who contacts them. The two chairpersons also can coordinate activities with posts in their departments to aid homeless veterans and their families and prevent future homelessness among veterans.
National Call Center for Homeless Veterans - VA’s National Call Center for Homeless Veterans hotline: (877) 424-3838 or (877) 4AID VET gives homeless veterans and at-risk veterans free access to trained counselors 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Homeless Veterans Chat - The National Call Center for Homeless Veterans also has a Homeless Veterans Chat, which is available on VA's website 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The online chat gives homeless veterans and at-risk veterans the opportunity to talk anonymously with mental health clinicians who can provide information on services, guidance and assistance, and helpful online resources. The service can be accessed at www.va.gov/homeless.
Veterans Justice Outreach Centers - Each VA Medical Center has been asked to designate a facility-based Veterans Justice Outreach Initiative specialist who is responsible for direct outreach, assessment and case management for justice-involved veterans in local courts and jails. This specialist also serves as a liaison with local justice system partners. A state-by-state list of these designees is available online.Homeless veterans handbook is reference guide for veterans in crisis and those who seek to help them. It can be downloaded here.
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