California, home to a quarter of the nation’s veterans, is also home to a quarter of its homeless women veterans. In greater Los Angeles, a survey found over 909 female veterans among them, a 50 percent increase since 2010. Pledging to end veteran homelessness by 2015, the government is pouring millions of dollars into permanent voucher programs, like HUD-Vash ( www.va.gov/homeless/hud-vash.asp ), for the most chronically homeless veterans. A newer VA program, with $300 million allocated by Congress, is aimed at prevention, providing short term emergency money to help with down payments, utility bills and other issues. The government’s motivation is financial as well as patriotic. The VA estimates that the cost care for a homeless veteran, including hospitalizations and reimbursement for community based shelters, is three times greater than for a housed veteran. A pilot project providing free drop in child care is under way at three VA medical centers.
Projects and organizations that are non-profits continue to grow to provide assistance for women veterans. Protect-Connect-Renew targeted toward women veterans, offers conferences with workshops dealing with various issues effecting women veterans, as well as providing relaxation activities, and one on one counseling. Grace After Fire is one of these organizations providing assistance. For inquires regarding conferences and workshops, contact them at (800) 362-6477 or at www.graceafterfire.org.
Remember Daylight Savings Time on the 10th; “spring forward.” Speak to you again next week.