Aleda E. Lutz VA Medical Center, Saginaw, Michigan
5 Year Plan For Homeless Veterans
The Aleda E. Lutz Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC), and each of our nine Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs) have established a network of care which includes a commitment to housing all homeless Veterans by 2014. Our five-year plan to reach this goal incorporates six areas of service highlighted below:
INCREASED COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS:
The Saginaw VA has Increased Community Partnerships which enable Veterans’ access to local resources. Four homeless shelters in the Saginaw and Bay City areas, and one in Traverse City, now have Veteran-specific beds. Veteran residents meet with VA Social Work Case Managers who assist them with access to health care, housing, and benefits, for which they may qualify. A partnership with Goodwill Industries in Gaylord, Michigan, resulted in the construction of Patriot Place; a Grant and Per Diem Housing program for Veterans.
Through the Saginaw VA Compensated Work Therapy Program, our Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors assist Veterans with Employment Benefits. There are three different programs within Compensated Work Therapy. They are: Transitional Work Therapy (TWE) which helps Veterans prepare for work through temporary work placements and job readiness training; Supported Employment (SE) assists Veterans, with mental health disabilities, find and maintain competitive employment; and the Homeless Veterans Supported Employment Program (HVSEP) helps Veterans, who have experienced homelessness, find rapid employment through job development and job coaching.
HOUSING AND SUPPORTIVE SERVICES, AND TREATMENT:
Since partnering with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in 2008, the Aleda E. Lutz VAMC has housed over 150 Veterans in the HUD VA Supportive Housing (VASH) program. While in the program, Veterans receive a broad range of case management services which enables them to gain the skills to maintain stable housing. These Housing and Supportive Services provide homeless Veterans with the stable foundation to address Treatment of medical, psychiatric, vocational, and/or educational issues.
OUTREACH AND EDUCATION:
VA’s Homeless Program staff are acutely aware that individuals without housing are often disenfranchised and isolated from resources and community Outreach and Education are a fundamental mission of the program. Throughout Saginaw and Northern Michigan, VA staff regularly educate landlords, agencies, and other community stakeholders about Veterans and the program. Veterans Affairs has established a national 24-hour a day call center for homeless Veterans, which links into our local VA service provider sites.
In the spirit of Prevention, Veterans at risk of losing housing in the next 90 days are encouraged to call the Homeless Veteran Hotline so they may receive case management and assistance. The Supportive Services for Veterans and their Families awarded a large grant to the Northwest Community Action Agency. VA Homeless Veteran Program Case Managers in Alpena, Cadillac, and Gaylord partner with this program to prevent at-risk Veterans from losing housing.
The Homeless Veteran Hotline is