Like Countable?

Install the App
TRY NOW

house Bill H.R. 3749

Should the VA Secretary Provide Grants to Organizations Giving Homeless Veterans Legal Assistance?

Argument in favor

Legal issues comprise over half of the top 10 issues keeping veterans in, or pushing them into, homelessness. Allowing the VA Secretary to provide financial assistance to organizations that help veterans with their legal issues will help alleviate veteran homelessness.

jimK's Opinion
···
02/25/2020
Anyone unable to challenge the legal system can be legally taken advantage of and unfortunately, often are. Our veterans have honored all of us by their service to our country. Our country needs to honor them in return by by at least arming those veterans in need with the legal ‘weapons’ needed to defend themselves and protect their families. It is simply a matter of honoring those in need who have chosen to honor our country and all of us when we were in need.
Like (39)
Follow
Share
···
02/25/2020
They broke them, should be responsible for fixing them.
Like (27)
Follow
Share
Sarah's Opinion
···
02/25/2020
We need to do as much as possible for our veterans. They at times need help that the VA can not give them.
Like (18)
Follow
Share

Argument opposed

The VA is already engaging in a broad range of activities — including partnerships with law schools and lawyer training — meant to address the legal issues facing veterans. In light of these efforts, there’s no need for this legislation.

operaman's Opinion
···
02/25/2020
Let me get this question straight? There are organizations that provide legal representation to Vets without charge but some legislators want to provide Grants of taxpayers money to a charity that collects contributions from the very same taxpayers. Why not allow the taxpayers to decide which pocket to pick. Sounds like a state or county agency is short on cash and is trying to swing their expenses to a charity.
Like (12)
Follow
Share
Caren's Opinion
···
02/25/2020
No need for duplication. What’s in place should work more efficiently. I’m all for helping our veterans—we owe them a vast amount of gratitude for their service and it is appropriate to serve them and help them and their families. However, if there is duplication, more money spent and no improvement then this legislation is useless!! Improve the program that is in place!!
Like (6)
Follow
Share
Jim's Opinion
···
02/25/2020
The VA already has programs. I’m a disabled veteran and I have been treated very well by the VA healthcare system.
Like (4)
Follow
Share

What is House Bill H.R. 3749?

This bill would direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA Secretary) to provide grants to organizations that provide legal services to homeless veterans and veterans at risk of homelessness. The grants would also provide assistance for legal services including helping veterans with outstanding warrants or fines, child support matters, and license revocations, as well as specific assistance for female veterans and their families.

Impact

Homeless veterans; legal aid for homeless veterans; and the VA.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 3749

$7.00 Million
The CBO estimates that this bill would cost $7 million over the 2020-2024 period.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) introduced this bill to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA Secretary) to provide grants to organizations that provide legal services to homeless veterans and veterans at risk of homelessness

“The Legal Services for Homeless Veterans Act provides veterans with access to legal services to resolve certain issues that can lead to homelessness.  While serving as a local prosecutor and working as a board member for the Veterans Transition Center of Monterey County, I encountered many veterans who had certain legal issues that brought them to the brink or pushed them into homelessness. This legislation provides those veterans, and supportive and surrounding organizations, the resources necessary to help our veterans resolve these legal issues and get back on their feet so that they can get back to being an integral part of our community and country."

After this bill passed the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee on October 16, 2019, Rep. Panetta said:

“Accessing legal aid should not be an added hoop to jump through for veterans struggling with or on the brink of homelessness.  It is essential that Congress ensure that our veterans are properly supported. The Legal Services for Homeless Veterans Act provides veterans, and supportive and surrounding organizations, the resources necessary to help them resolve legal issues and get back on their feet so that they can get back to being an integral part of our community and country."

Original cosponsor Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL) adds

“The men and women who dedicate their lives to service give everything they have for our country, but the unfortunate reality is that too many veterans struggle returning home from combat and find themselves without a home. While we’ll never be able to fully repay them for their service, expanding access to legal services for these veterans is something we can and should do right now to help."

The For Country Caucus, a group of military veteran members of Congress, has endorsed this legislation. Additionally, the American Bar Association and a number of veterans’ advocacy organizations, including Disabled American Veterans, Vietnam Veterans of America, and the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, support this legislation.


Of Note: Over half of the top 10 issues facing homeless veterans are related to unresolved legal issues. According to the VA’s Community Homelessness Assessment Local Education and Networking Groups (CHALENG) survey, these issues include eviction/foreclosure, child support issues, securing a driver’s license, and addressing outstanding warrants and fines accumulated while living in the streets. Without legal assistance, veterans facing these sorts of issues will struggle to secure housing, employment, services, and medical treatment.

The Dept. of Veterans Affairs (VA) is already working to remove barriers to veterans attempting to access legal assistance. VA’s current efforts include data-sharing initiatives, lawyer training, and support for innovative legal services delivery models such as medical-legal partnerships, homeless court, and law school clinical programs.

Currently, the VA is specifically not allowed to fund or provide legal services for veterans. While the VA can provide technical assistance to the legal community’s efforts to help veterans, those efforts are limited to where and when lawyers volunteer, or where legal aid offices or law school clinical programs exist. This legislation would fix this issue.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / DebbiSmirnoff)

AKA

Legal Services for Homeless Veterans Act

Official Title

To amend title 38, United States Code, to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to make grants to entities that provide legal services for homeless veterans and veterans at risk for homelessness.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
    IntroducedJuly 12th, 2019
    Anyone unable to challenge the legal system can be legally taken advantage of and unfortunately, often are. Our veterans have honored all of us by their service to our country. Our country needs to honor them in return by by at least arming those veterans in need with the legal ‘weapons’ needed to defend themselves and protect their families. It is simply a matter of honoring those in need who have chosen to honor our country and all of us when we were in need.
    Like (39)
    Follow
    Share
    Let me get this question straight? There are organizations that provide legal representation to Vets without charge but some legislators want to provide Grants of taxpayers money to a charity that collects contributions from the very same taxpayers. Why not allow the taxpayers to decide which pocket to pick. Sounds like a state or county agency is short on cash and is trying to swing their expenses to a charity.
    Like (12)
    Follow
    Share
    They broke them, should be responsible for fixing them.
    Like (27)
    Follow
    Share
    Agree @Robert (Steve)! The military which is a part of our government broke these people and now need to provide for them!
    Like (24)
    Follow
    Share
    We need to do as much as possible for our veterans. They at times need help that the VA can not give them.
    Like (18)
    Follow
    Share
    Please support our homeless veteran. We should get anyone off the street who is homeless
    Like (14)
    Follow
    Share
    Let's do everything possible for our homeless veterans before we lose all of them to public indifference -- or contempt. I worked with the homeless population for twelve years, and the most heart-rending (and largest) segment I met were veterans.
    Like (13)
    Follow
    Share
    They should provide any and all help the vets need to get back to a healthy and productive life and then maintain it. They did not ask for their lives to be turned ass over tea kettle, they served and accepted their responsibilities and I firmly believe they should not have to fight with their own government to have some quality put back in their lives. Give them what they need to be whole again.
    Like (11)
    Follow
    Share
    There is no excuse for not doing everything possible for our veterans!
    Like (10)
    Follow
    Share
    We need to help our veterans and contribute toward the fight against the homelessness crisis in America. These veterans offered their life up to serve our country and the least we can do is vote yes on this bill to help them. In addition, we should do everything in our power to contribute to anything that can help solve the homeless crisis in this country, which is arguably one of the top issues we face today.
    Like (10)
    Follow
    Share
    Veteran put a lot of their life on the line for civilians. They should be treated with the most respect.
    Like (10)
    Follow
    Share
    Do you know how expensive it is to be poor? Fine after fine builds up. Cost after cost builds up. The cycle beats a person into a disillusioned state that no one will help and that “they” are out to get you. This bill represents a step forward for helping Vets on the streets through generous organizations built on providing services to Vets.
    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
    You made a bargain with them. Time to keep up your part.
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    No need for duplication. What’s in place should work more efficiently. I’m all for helping our veterans—we owe them a vast amount of gratitude for their service and it is appropriate to serve them and help them and their families. However, if there is duplication, more money spent and no improvement then this legislation is useless!! Improve the program that is in place!!
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    The federal government has done a poor job of taking care of our veterans. Legal issues comprise over half of the top 10 issues keeping veterans in, or pushing them into, homelessness and there are many organizations providing quality, economical services to our veterans. Allowing the VA Secretary to provide financial assistance to organizations that help veterans with their legal issues will help alleviate veteran homelessness. #RjGonCountable.
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    This is ‘the least’ we can do in behalf of our selfless Veterans.
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    Veterans often face a number of obstacles. Legal assistance can be difficult and expensive to find in any circumstances. We should do all we can to assist those vets in need-whether its housing, mental health, or legal issues. Sometimes, all three are connected.
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    Yes
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    We need to treat our veterans better.. they were there for us and we should return the favor..
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    Spend less money on Waging War and more money to help veterans, especially those who have lost everything and face homelessness.
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    MORE