For Women Veterans

VA is taking steps to improve and expand services for women Veterans who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

Many women Veterans face challenges when returning to civilian life that are different from those of thwomanveteir male counterparts, including raising children on their own or dealing with the psychological after effects of events such as military sexual trauma. These issues, without intervention, can put women Veterans at greater risk of becoming homeless. This makes VA’s efforts to provide housing and health care support all the more critical. It is a challenge VA continues to embrace.


Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program (SSVF) – SSVF awards grants to private nonprofit organizations and consumer cooperatives who will provide supportive services to very low income Veterans and their families residing in or transitioning to permanent housing. The grantees will provide a range of supportive services designed to promote housing stability. SSVF grants are released throughout the year so check often to see when new sample photofunding is available. Learn more about the SSVF program.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and VA Supportive Housing Program (HUD-VASH) partner to provide permanent, supportive housing and treatment services for homeless Veterans. HUD allocated nearly 38,000 “Housing Choice” vouchers across the country, which allows Veterans and their families to live in market rate rental housing while VA provides case management services. A housing subsidy is paid to the landlord directly by the local public housing authority on behalf of the participating Veteran. The Veteran then pays the difference between the actual rent charged by the landlord and the amount subsidized by the program. The case management services facilitate the attainment of the Veteran’s recovery goals. The HUD-VASH Program is for the most vulnerable Veterans, and provides special services for women Veterans, those recently returning from combat zones, and Veterans with disabilities. Learn more about the HUD-VASH Program.

WomenVets300x210The Grant and Per Diem (GPD) Program funds community-based agencies providing transitional housing or service centers for homeless Veterans. Through the program, each year (as funding is available) VA offers grants that may fund up to 65 percent of the project for the construction, acquisition, or renovation of facilities or to purchase van(s) to provide outreach and services to homeless Veterans. Grant/Per Diem Webpage

Women Veterans Health Care Program – Since 1988, the Women Veterans Health woman veteran_1Care program has provided focused care for women Veterans in a safe environment that aims to raise the standard of women’s health care. By focusing on primary care, reproductive health, and other health issues unique to women, VA seeks to provide the care that helps keep our women Veterans healthy and in a position to live fruitful lives. Women Veterans need not worry about their specific health issues not being accommodated by VA. Visit http://www.womenshealth.va.gov/

VA Mental Health for Women Veterans – VA recognizes that women Veterans experience their military service in different ways than men and also deal with unique mental health conditions. Because of this, VA provides specialized services to help women work through conditions such as PTSD or Military Sexual Trauma.

For At-Risk Veterans and Their Families

You Fought for Our Home. We’ll Fight for Yours.

Are you currently at risk of losing your housing? Are you having trouble finding or holding a job? Do you have health issues that make it difficult to work? VA is here to provide you with the support you’ve earned.

Call VA now at 1-877-4AID-VET (1-877-424-3838). VA can connect you with comprehensive programs—from health care to employment assistance—to prevent housing loss. Make the Call.

When you call:

  • You will be connected to a trained VA responder.
  • The responder will ask a few questions to assess your needs.
  • If you’re a Veteran, you will be connected with the Homeless Point of Contact at the nearest VA facility.
  • Contact information will be requested so staff may follow up.

24/7 Confidential Support is a Click Away


The Homeless Veterans hotline and online chat are free—and you don’t have to be registered with VA or enrolled in VA health care. Through 1-877-4AID-VET, VA gets Veterans and their families help with:

Opportunities to return to employment

VA’s Compensated Work Therapy (CWT) Program is comprised of three unique programs which assist homeless Veterans in returning to competitive employment: Sheltered Workshop, Transitional Work, and Supported Employment. Veterans in CWT are paid at least the federal or state minimum wage, whichever is the higher.

The Homeless Veteran Supported Employment Program (HVSEP) provides vocational assistance, job development and placement, and ongoing supports to improve employment outcomes among homeless Veterans and Veterans at-risk of homelessness. Formerly homeless Veterans who have been trained as Vocational Rehabilitation Specialists (VRSs) provide these services.

Safe Housing

The Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem Program provides grants and per diem payments (as funding is available) to help public and nonprofit organizations establish and operate supportive housing and service centers for homeless Veterans.

HUD-VA Supportive Housing (VASH) Program is a joint effort between the Department of Housing and Urban Development and VA. HUD allocated nearly 38,000 “Housing Choice” Section 8 vouchers across the country. These vouchers allow Veterans and their families to live in market rate rental units while VA provides case management services. A housing subsidy is paid to the landlord on behalf of the participating Veteran. The Veteran then pays the difference between the actual rent charged by the landlord and the amount subsidized by the program. Learn more about the HUD-VASH Program.

The Acquired Property Sales for Homeless Providers Program makes all VA foreclosed properties available for sale to homeless provider organizations—at a 20 to 50 percent discount—to shelter homeless Veterans.

The Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) Program provides grants and technical assistance to community-based, nonprofit organizations to help Veterans and their families stay in their homes. Learn more about the SSVF program.

The purpose of the Veterans Homelessness Prevention Demonstration (VHPD) Program is to explore ways the Federal government can offer early intervention homelessness prevention.  The primary focus of this program is Veterans returning from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with a focus on the increasing number of female veterans, veterans with families especially with a single head of household, as well as those from the National Guard and Reserve who are being discharged from the military.  It is anticipated that this demonstration program will provide an opportunity to understand the unique needs of this new cohort of Veterans, and will support efforts to identify, conduct outreach and assist them in regaining and maintaining housing stability.  Learn More about the VHPD Program.

Health care

VA’s Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV) Program offers outreach, exams, treatment, referrals, and case management to Veterans who are homeless and dealing with mental health issues, including substance use. At more than 135 HCHV sites, trained, caring VA specialists provide tools and support necessary for Veterans to get their lives on a better track. Call VA’s toll-free hotline or visit the Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV) Program page.

VA’s Homeless Veterans Dental Program provides dental treatment for eligible Veterans in a number of programs: Domiciliary Residential Rehabilitation Treatment, VA Grant and Per Diem, Compensated Work Therapy/Transitional Residence, Healthcare for Homeless Veterans (contract bed), and Community Residential Care. VA is working to expand dental care to all eligible Veterans within this program. Homeless Veterans Dental Program

Project CHALENG (Community Homelessness Assessment, Local Education and Networking Groups) brings together providers, advocates, and other concerned citizens to identify the needs of homeless Veterans and work to meet those needs through planning and cooperative action. This process has helped build thousands of relationships between VA and community agencies so that together they can better serve homeless Veterans. For more information on Project CHALENG, call VA’s toll-free hotline or visit the Project CHALENG web page.

Mental health services

Veteran Justice Outreach provides eligible, justice-involved Veterans with timely access to VA’s mental health and substance use services when clinically indicated, and other VA services and benefits as appropriate.

VA’s Substance Use Disorder Treatment Enhancement Initiative provides substance use services in the community to aid homeless Veterans’ recovery.

The Health Care for Re-Entry Veterans Program helps incarcerated Veterans successfully rejoin the community through supports including those addressing mental health and substance use problems.

The Readjustment Counseling Service’s Vet Center Programs feature community-based locations and outreach activities that help to identify homeless Veterans and match homeless Veterans with necessary services.

VA and Ancestry.com Partner to Index Historic Burial Records

WASHINGTONThe Department of Veterans Affairs has partnered with the internet-based genealogy research firm Ancestry.com to bring burial records from historic national cemetery ledgers into the digital age.  The effort will make the collection—predominantly of Civil War interments—accessible to researchers and Ancestry.com subscribers undertaking historical and genealogical research.

“We are excited to be able to share this wealth of primary documentation,” said VA’s Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs Steve L. Muro. “With the help of Ancestry.com, we have opened the doors to thousands of service members’ histories through the information contained in these burial ledgers.”

From the 1860s until the mid-20th century, U.S. Army personnel tracked national cemetery burials in hand-written burial ledgers or “registers.”  Due to concern for the fragile documents and a desire to expand public access to the ledger contents, VA’s National Cemetery Administration (NCA) duplicated about 60 hand-written ledgers representing 36 cemeteries using a high-resolution scanning process.  The effort resulted in high quality digital files that reproduced approximately 9,344 pages and 113,097 individual records. NCA then transferred the original ledgers to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) where they will be preserved.  In addition to the NCA’s ledgers, NARA was already the steward of at least 156 military cemetery ledgers transferred from the Army years ago.

In 2011, NCA initiated a partnership with Ancestry.com to index its cemetery ledgers, allowing the data to be searched or browsed in a variety of ways.  Ancestry.com spent more than 600 hours indexing NCA’s records at no charge to the government.

Ancestry.com has assembled the digitized and indexed NCA burial ledgers with those at NARA into a new collection, “U.S. Burial Registers, Military Posts and National Cemeteries, 1862-1960.”  The burial records contain information such as name, rank, company/regiment, date of death, age at death, date of burial and grave number.  A large number of Civil War soldiers were buried where they fell in battle or in temporary cemeteries, and sometimes that information, along with religious affiliation, can be found in the ledgers.

The collection was posted on the ancestry.com website on Veterans Day 2012.  The information can be accessed free of charge by VA personnel as well as by employees of the other federal agencies that maintain national cemeteries, the Departments of the Interior and Defense.  Ledger data will also be available for free at all NARA facilities, and at public libraries that subscribe to Ancestry.com.  NCA cemetery staff will use the database to answer requests from the public.  The general public will have access to the database on their personal devices through Ancestry.com’s regular subscription service.

This partnership between Ancestry.com and NCA supports NCA’s ongoing Civil War 150th anniversary commemoration (2011-2015).  For more information on this project, contact Sara Amy Leach ([email protected]), NCA senior historian.

VA operates 131 national cemeteries in 39 states and Puerto Rico and 33 soldiers’ lots and monument sites. Seventy two of VA’s national cemeteries date from the Civil War.  More than 3.7 million Americans, including Veterans of every war and conflict — from the Revolutionary War to the operations in Iraq and Afghanistan — are buried in VA’s national cemeteries on approximately 20,000 acres of land.

The Nationwide Gravesite Locator

Click the graphic above to open The Nationwide Gravesite Locator

VA Launches Challenge.gov Contest for Scheduling Appointments

VA_Healthcare_Excel

WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs is challenging software developers to create new systems that schedule appointments in VA’s nationwide health system.

“This contest marks a major change in direction by VA, away from software that is so customized that only VA can use it, toward open standards and commercial systems that build on proven practices,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki.  “The competition will help us serve Veterans by encouraging ideas to provide more personalized care.”

Through a Medical Appointment Scheduling System (MASS) Contest, hosted on the site Challenge.gov, VA will award as many as three prizes for the creation of an open-source and open application program interface (API)-based system to replace components of VA’s 25-year-old scheduling software in its VistA electronic health system.

“For the last 18 months, we have been working with the open source community to support this change in direction.  Today we announce yet another project supported by that community,” said Roger Baker, VA assistant secretary for information technology.

The contest was formally announced in the Federal Register on Oct. 16, 2012.  Registration is due by May 13, 2013, and all entries must be finalized by June 13, 2013.

The MASS Contest is driven by VA’s decision to transition its VistA electronic health system into an openly architected product and to challenge developers to offer standards-based, modular components that can be extended and modified much more easily than customized products.  Proprietary, commercial systems are eligible for prizes, but all entries in the contest will be required to have open connections, or APIs.  Entries with substantial open source content will be especially welcomed.