Housing and Homelessness

Welcome to the Topic Guide on Housing & Homelessness.

This guide is a starting point for service members, veterans and their families who are homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless.

Ending and preventing homelessness among service members, veterans and their families is a core focus at both the national and local level. Fortunately there are a great deal of resources available to assist individuals and families who are currently experiencing homelessness or who are at risk for becoming homeless.

Key Statewide Partners

  • Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services – the state agency focused on serving Arizona’s 600,000+ veterans has a Homeless Veterans Services division that coordinates with the federal VA and other partners to end and prevent veteran homelessness. The Department developed and implements the Arizona Action Plan to End Homelessness Among Veterans.
  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs – the federal agency has a 5-year plan to end veteran homelessness and provides services to veterans who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness, and also funds community organizations to provide services.
  • Arizona Coalition to End Homelessness – the Coalition focuses on advocacy, education and coordination around statewide initiatives to end all homelessness, including veteran homelessness.

Arizona’s 5-year Action Plan to End Homelessness Among Veterans
In 2009, the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services formed a Homeless Veterans Services Division to focus on ending veteran homelessness within in Arizona, in coordination with the federal VA 5-year plan. In 2010, the Department held a series of Summits that engaged partners from around the state to develop a state plan. Since then, the Department, VA and other key stakeholders have been focused on implementing the plan. The plan is considered a national best practice model.

As a result of this plan and the collaboration of many public and private sector partners, Arizona is on track to end chronic veteran homelessness ahead of schedule on the 5-year plan.

Continuum of Care & Key Resources

National Hotline – the VA operates a 24/7 Help for Homeless Veterans Hotline. Anyone can call this line for assistance with connecting to local resources – 1-877-424-3838 or online.

Community Resource & Referral Center – The CRRC is a community-based center for veterans who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Operated by the VA, the center provides a range of services, including outreach, case management, peer support, mental health and physical health care and assistance with connecting to other resources.

Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) – funded by the VA, this program focuses on assisting low income veteran families with staying in or acquiring permanent housing. Services include outreach, case management and connection to resources. These are the organizations with the SSVF grant in Arizona:

StandDowns & Project Homeless Connects
A standdown is an event focused on providing respite, services and support to veterans experiencing or at-risk for homelessness. Standdowns take place in communities across the state, with the annual Arizona StandDown in Maricopa County being the largest event in the state (and in the nation for that matter). StandDowns are held statewide: www.ArizonaStandDown.org.

Project Homeless Connects are modeled after standdowns and serve any individual at-risk of or experiencing homelessness. These events are also held around the state. In Phoenix, the Valley of the Sun United Way holds one Project Homeless Connect per month. Ten percent of participants report being military veterans.

Emergency Shelters – Shelters provide a temporary place to stay for individuals and families, along with supportive services to assist them in accessing other resources. Emergency Shelters can be accessed by contacting the National Help for Homeless Veterans Hotline at 1-877-424-3838.

Transitional Housing – This service is meant to be a bridge to help individuals and families move toward permanent housing. Supportive services generally include case management and assistance with connecting to resources for employment and other needs. Transitional housing programs for veterans in Arizona:

Phoenix – UMOM, USVETS, MANA House, CASS
Prescott – USVETS
Tucson – Old Pueblo, Comin’ Home, Esperanza En Escalante

Permanent Affordable Housing – Permanent affordable housing provides a living situation that is long-term and sustainable for the resident. Supportive services may be provided to help the person and/or family maintain their housing. Contact each program for specific information on eligibility and income guidelines.

Phoenix:

UMOM

Victory Place

Garfield Commons (1110 N. 16th Street, Phoenix)

Tucson/Pima County:

www.PimaCountyHelp.org – a free resource provided by Pima County Community and Economic Development and Tucson Housing and Community Development. Search for housing programs and rental housing.

Statewide:

Statewide Affordable Housing Locator – Search communities around Arizona for affordable housing options.

If you are a homeless veteran or at-risk of homelessness or you are a provider assisting a service member, veteran or family member please call the Help for Homeless Veterans line at 1-877-424-3838.