As part of a national commitment to prevent veteran homelessness, the Alaska VA Healthcare System on Oct. 12 will host an event to raise awareness of services available to homeless veterans and veterans at risk of homelessness.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Assistant Secretary for Operations, Security and Preparedness Jose D. Riojas will speak at the event, to be held at 10 a.m. at the Z.J. Loussac Library at 3600 Denali Street. The program will highlight Alaska services for Veterans through VA programs and community partners.
In keeping with President Obama’s vision to honor and support the men and women who have preserved our freedom, Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki has established a priority goal of eliminating homelessness among veterans by 2015. VA chose Anchorage as one of 28 locations to spearhead this mission. On a single night in January 2009, more than 75,000 veterans were homeless across the nation, and in that year about 135,000 veterans spent at least one night in an emergency shelter or transitional housing program. “Those who have served this nation as veterans should never find themselves on the streets, living without care and without hope,” Shinseki said.
In addition to providing housing, employment and healthcare services to veterans who are homeless, VA’s campaign aims to prevent homelessness by connecting veterans and their families with support before they lose their housing. Veterans lose their homes when financial, employment, health, or legal challenges overwhelm them. VA is integrating access to services for all of these issues in a one-stop hotline through the VA National Call Center for Homeless Veterans, 1-877-4AID-VET, staffed by trained counselors 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This fiscal year, VA expects to spend $3.4 billion to provide health care to homeless Veterans and $800 million in specialized homeless programs.
By For more information you may call 273-4017 or VA Public Affairs at 257-5490.