Sending Office: Honorable Mike Coffman
In 2017, for the first time since 2010, the number of veterans experiencing homelessness increased. In fact, over 40,000 veterans experienced homelessness at some point last year. These 40,000 veterans account for over nine percent of all homeless adults,
even though veterans represent less than 10 percent of the total U.S. adult population. Congress has done much to address the plight of our homeless veterans, but we must continue our efforts. This is why I urge you to join me in combating veteran homelessness
by cosponsoring H.R. 4099, the ‘Homeless Veteran Families Act’.
The Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem (GPD) program annually offers funding to community agencies that provide supportive services to homeless veterans. The goals of this program are to achieve residential stability
and to assist these veterans in regaining self-sufficiency.
However, homeless veteran families often face a major obstacle in accessing these services. Under current law, the VA does not have the authority to reimburse the additional costs associated with sheltering the dependent children of homeless veterans. As
a result, many GPD providers will not accept homeless veterans with dependent children. In fact, many of these providers typically give preference to non-veteran homeless families because there are other federal assistance programs that do provide reimbursement
of expenses for their dependent children. The choice of safe shelter or keeping a family together is not a dilemma we should impose upon our homeless veterans.
While homeless veterans with dependent children account for only three percent of all homeless veterans, the Department of Housing and Urban Development found that this statistic has not changed in the last two years. It is clear this impediment is holding
back the nation from fully serving our homeless veterans. H.R. 4099 can right this wrong.
The ‘Homeless Veteran Families Act’ would provide the VA with the authority to pay a partial per diem to GPD providers supporting our nation’s homeless veterans with children. For each child the provider would receive per diem at a 50% rate for
each of the minor dependent(s) accompanying the veteran.
It is time for Congress to address this troubling issue for homeless veteran families. Please join me in cosponsoring H.R. 4099, the
‘Homeless Veteran Families Act.’ Doing so we provide homeless veterans and their children a safe shelter during their times of hardship without breaking families apart.
Member of Congress
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