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VA Deploys Mobile Medical Units To Help Homeless Veterans

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs’ official site, there are approximately 33 thousand homeless veterans in the United States in 2022. And while that number represents a downward trend in veteran homelessness, the issue is still a major cause of concern at the VA.

VA Deploys Mobile Medical Units To Help Homeless Veterans

In August 2023, the Department of Veterans Affairs announced a six-month effort to help homeless veterans. The program involves sending mobile medical units to 25 states across the country to bring med clinic-type services including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Primary care
  • Women’s health
  • Mental health
  • Laboratory tests

The goal of this program is to bring help to veterans who can’t come to a VA facility. These services are meant for qualifying veterans who are homeless, or lack transportation to VA centers.

The first of these arrived in Orlando, Florida in August, with more units scheduled to visit locations with high veteran homeless communities like Oklahoma City and Los Angeles.

These mobile medical units are part of the VA Homeless Patient Aligned Care Teams program and are part of a long-term plan to ease veteran homelessness. The Department of Veterans Affairs official site says that plan includes the following steps:

  • Continue government investments supporting “effective interventions to prevent homelessness among Veterans and rapidly re-house those who become homeless.”
  • Maintain “relentless outreach to Veterans in need.”
  • Collaborate with community partners “to house, employ and serve Veterans exiting homelessness.”

The program, as it was originally created, has an end date sometime in February 2024. \

Military.com reports the VA using an “all hands on deck” approach to the issue, noting that the VA works with the Department of Housing and Urban Development on a Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing vouchers program and coordinates with other partners to address the issue of veteran homelessness.

Facts About Homeless Veterans

Thousands of American veterans face eviction, foreclosure, and other potential causes of homelessness every year.

  • VA.gov says. “the total number of Veterans who experienced homelessness” was 33,129.
  • That number is a decrease of 11% over a similar survey conducted in January 2020.
  • The VA estimates the number of veterans experiencing homelessness in America has declined by just over 55% since 2010.
  • Homelessness can be caused by a variety of factors, it’s not a simple matter of choice or “hard luck.”
  • There are different types of homelessness. One type is known as “sheltered homelessness,” and another is called “unsheltered homelessness.” Many homeless people experience both kinds.
  • Veterans who experience “sheltered homelessness” may find help in emergency shelters, housing programs, or what the VA terms “other supportive settings.”
  • Unsheltered homeless vets may live in places the VA describes as “not meant for human habitation, such as cars, parks, sidewalks, abandoned buildings and literally on the street.”

Veterans experiencing homelessness or are concerned about doing so should contact the Department of Veterans Affairs to learn about its Homeless Coordinators program, which helps vets find affordable housing in their local area.

Related: Military Benefits For Veterans and Retirees

About the author

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Editor-in-Chief Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter/editor for Air Force Television News and the Pentagon Channel. His freelance work includes contract work for Motorola, VALoans.com, and Credit Karma. He is co-founder of Dim Art House in Springfield, Illinois, and spends his non-writing time as an abstract painter, independent publisher, and occasional filmmaker.