Washington, DC — The Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Programs Reauthorization Act, legislation co-authored by Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-CA) and Congressman Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) to fight veteran homelessness by strengthening job training programs, was signed into law on Monday. The bill passed Congress as part of the Veterans Benefits and Transition Act of 2018.
“Our nation’s servicemembers upend their lives to serve our country, and we need to make sure that when they come home, they can find meaningful work and provide for themselves and their families,” said Congresswoman Brownley. “I am very happy that this important legislation was signed into law this week. This will allow veterans who have struggled with homelessness to remain eligible for job services while utilizing VA housing programs, which will help more veterans find jobs and break the cycle of homelessness. I want to thank Congressman Wenstrup for working with me to address this issue on behalf of our nation’s veterans.”
Currently, homeless veterans are eligible for job training and placement services under the Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program (HVRP). However, if a veteran is also eligible for assistance under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program, Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF), or Native American Housing Assistance, the VA considers them to be no longer “homeless,” thereby restricting access to HVRP. In doing so, a veteran is denied access to a program that will help them re-enter the workforce and get them back on their feet.
The Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Programs Reauthorization Act would clarify that veterans eligible for HUD-VASH, SSVF, or Native American Housing Assistance are still eligible for HVRP assistance. This legislation would also reauthorize the HVRP program for three years, along with programs that are designed for female homeless veterans and homeless veterans with children.