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house Bill H.R. 95

Should the VA Reimburse Homeless Shelters for Taking Care of Veterans’ Minor Children?

Argument in favor

Currently, the VA’s inability to reimburse homeless shelters for caring for veterans’ minor children puts veterans with children at a disadvantage when looking for shelter housing. This is unconscionable, and a poor way to repay veterans’ sacrifice for the country.

jimK's Opinion
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10/15/2019
Yes, I agree with NoHedges- no child in our society should be homeless. I think this is especially true for children whose homelessness is associated with veteran parent(s).
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burrkitty's Opinion
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10/14/2019
Dear G-d. That this problem exists at all is a enormous failure of our government to support our citizens. Yes. Help people not corporations.
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NoHedges's Opinion
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10/15/2019
Yes, but you’re missing the big picture. In one of the wealthiest nations in the WORLD, our children VA or otherwise, should NEVER BE HOMELESS. Homeless children are forced to grow up in an environment that all too often leads to PTSD and other mental issues. If we want a strong working class economy, then making sure our children grow up to be functioning adults is essential. 🙏Thanks JimK.. and for the record, currently, I would also vote for your dog’s Snoopy before voting for Trump.
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Argument opposed

The VA, as an agency that’s meant to help veterans, should be using it funds for that purpose and purpose only. While veterans’ children should be eligible for federal government assistance if their parents are experiencing economic hardship, that money shouldn’t come from the VA.

Mariann's Opinion
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10/15/2019
VA funds should be used to provide medical care. Funding for other veteran help should come from another government source. Maybe from money stolen by Trump for his vanity wall.
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Linda's Opinion
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10/16/2019
Those children are no less American than any other children born in this country. is anyone reimbursing the shelters for non-Americans ? I am a veteran and thankfully have not had to face this, but how is that thanking a veteran by charging to help with his her her children in time of need? That is a punch in the face.
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Hillel's Opinion
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10/16/2019
As a retired Army veteran who is also service connected. I feel this would lead to numerous fraudulent claims. The VA already has numerous programs that help homeless veterans With housing job opportunities and childcare. I think the problem is that most Veterans are not aware of these programs.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Veterans' Affairs
  • The house Passed October 15th, 2019
    Roll Call Vote 408 Yea / 0 Nay
      house Committees
      Economic Opportunity
      Committee on Veterans' Affairs
    IntroducedJanuary 3rd, 2019

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What is House Bill H.R. 95?

This bill — the Homeless Veteran Families Act — would fund community housing agencies that provide services to homeless veterans and their minority dependents (children). It would allow the Dept. of Veterans Affairs (VA) Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem (GPD) Program to reimburse providers for 50% of the costs of housing minor dependents of homeless veterans while the veterans receive services from the grant recipients.

Impact

Homeless shelters; homeless veterans; minor children of veterans; VA reimbursements to homeless shelters that house veterans and their minor children; and Dept. of Veterans Affairs (VA) Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem (GPD) Program.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 95

$14.00 Million
The CBO estimates that this bill would cost $14 million over the 2020-2024 period.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Julia Brownley (D-CA) reintroduced this bill from the 115th Congress to support community agencies that help homeless veterans with children find safe places to live:

“As a nation, we have a sacred responsibility to help those who served in uniform. It is simply unacceptable that veterans with children are living out on the street or in other unsafe locations because the VA can’t reimburse community agencies for housing them. This is an issue that disproportionately impacts women veterans — the fastest-growing veteran population. It is imperative that we fix this issue and keep families together and safe, while providing the stable living situation imperative to setting the conditions for a fresh start.”

Last Congress, the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans’ CEO, Kathryn Monet, expressed her organization’s support for this bill: 

“Veterans who are homeless with their children have access to permanent housing supports through VA, but the affordable housing crisis our country is facing has lengthened the time it takes them to find appropriate housing with that support. They should not have to stay outside or in unsustainable situations during that period if we can offer them short term bridge housing to get themselves and their families off the street quickly. The [Homeless Veteran Families Act] would provide transitional housing programs funding and flexibility from the VA to provide this critical housing resource to homeless veterans and their families.”

This legislation passed the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity by voice vote with the support of 301 bipartisan cosponsors, including 200 Democrats and 101 Republicans. The Comitis Crisis Center has expressed its support for this legislation in the current Congress.

In the 115th Congress, this legislation had 237 bipartisan cosponsors, including 125 Democrats and 112 Republicans, and didn’t receive a committee vote. The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, American Legion, The Wounded Warrior Project, Disabled American Veterans, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Got Your 6, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Military Order of the Purple Heart, and American Veterans (AMVETS) expressed their support for this legislation.


Of NoteThe VA GPD Program awards grants to community-based agencies that provide transitional housing and supportive services to help homeless veterans achieve residential stability and self-sufficiency. Currently, the VA lacks the statutory authority to provide reimbursements for the costs of services for veterans’ minor dependents. This means that GPD providers need to pay out of pocket for those services. 

Consequently, some homeless shelters give preference to non-veteran homeless families because they get per diems for those minor dependents from the Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS). According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the financial disincentive for shelters to provide housing to veterans and their children leads to limited housing for veterans and their children — a problem that disproportionately affects female veterans.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / LucieHolloway)

AKA

Homeless Veteran Families Act

Official Title

To amend title 38, United States Code, to ensure that children of homeless veterans are included in the calculation of the amounts of certain per diem grants.

    Yes, I agree with NoHedges- no child in our society should be homeless. I think this is especially true for children whose homelessness is associated with veteran parent(s).
    Like (76)
    Follow
    Share
    VA funds should be used to provide medical care. Funding for other veteran help should come from another government source. Maybe from money stolen by Trump for his vanity wall.
    Like (19)
    Follow
    Share
    Dear G-d. That this problem exists at all is a enormous failure of our government to support our citizens. Yes. Help people not corporations.
    Like (51)
    Follow
    Share
    Yes, but you’re missing the big picture. In one of the wealthiest nations in the WORLD, our children VA or otherwise, should NEVER BE HOMELESS. Homeless children are forced to grow up in an environment that all too often leads to PTSD and other mental issues. If we want a strong working class economy, then making sure our children grow up to be functioning adults is essential. 🙏Thanks JimK.. and for the record, currently, I would also vote for your dog’s Snoopy before voting for Trump.
    Like (28)
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    Share
    Yes. The VA is responsible for the care of veterans. When a veteran is in crisis, we are obligated to care for their family. This is one of the many ways we can support them.
    Like (19)
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    Those children are no less American than any other children born in this country. is anyone reimbursing the shelters for non-Americans ? I am a veteran and thankfully have not had to face this, but how is that thanking a veteran by charging to help with his her her children in time of need? That is a punch in the face.
    Like (17)
    Follow
    Share
    There are homeless vets who have kids & nobody seems to care
    Like (14)
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    As a retired Army veteran who is also service connected. I feel this would lead to numerous fraudulent claims. The VA already has numerous programs that help homeless veterans With housing job opportunities and childcare. I think the problem is that most Veterans are not aware of these programs.
    Like (13)
    Follow
    Share
    It’s very sad, tragic really, that we have to pass a bill like this. It’s essential that children are properly cared for, and our service veterans deserve our support. Yes, pass this bill.
    Like (12)
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    Why is this even a question? The current administration needs to put the people above profit.
    Like (9)
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    Homeless Veteran Families Act To amend title 38, United States Code, to ensure that children of homeless veterans are included in the calculation of the amounts of certain per diem grants. The thought of those who serve our country being homeless brings tears to my eye's and it completely upset me. Please take a stand and fight for our Veterans and their children. #gotfaith
    Like (9)
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    As a veteran I would prefer a hand up than a hand out.
    Like (6)
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    It would enable them to use the funds to take care of more people. Our vets, & their families, should NOT be homeless!
    Like (6)
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    It is not just because it is the VA, the shelters need all the help they can get. We have MILLIONS living on and under our streets because there are NOT enough places for them to sleep inside. What does it take for us to see how wrong this country is being led and I do not mean just by Trump? When did we decide that America should be just another third world country?
    Like (5)
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    Without the sacrifices of the Veteran there is no United States.
    Like (4)
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    I support this, because it is a trackable expense. We can use this to highlight how we are not supporting our troops and veterans.
    Like (4)
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    Those organizations should be reimbursed for doing a job The the government should be doing. Spouses and children have served right along with our veterans. No one can say that Congresswomen Debbie Lessco is not for veterans.
    Like (4)
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    This is a necessity for veterans emotional health and the care their families desperately need.
    Like (4)
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    We must support our veterans any way that we can. That they or their families are homeless is a disgrace.
    Like (4)
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    No LEGAL child should be refused services. Undocumented people must either take immediate steps to become legal, or they must leave the country. The answer is not to eliminate the law. Enforce it. Period. Either register or leave.
    Like (3)
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