Homeless Veterans Fact Sheet

The Wellspring Veteran Family Homeless Services Fact Sheet

Is homelessness among Veterans a problem in Northeast Louisiana?
Homelessness of Veterans is a problem in this area, as it is nationally though there are not exact numbers due to the mobile nature of the homeless population. In 2012, over 62,600 of America’s Veterans experienced homelessness on a given night in January, according to the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs. According to the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development’s 2009 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress, the group of Americans with the greatest risk of homelessness is Veterans, with 1 in 10 odds of experiencing homelessness in a given year.

Based on 2010 U.S. Census figures for the 12 parishes of Northeast Louisiana, a projected 813 Vets and their families are at risk of or will actually become homeless in a year. This number is 15% of the region’s total Veterans living in poverty, according to the National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans.

Locally in 2012, surveys of street homeless and local homeless shelters on a given night in January identified 16 homeless Veterans. Using a formula provided by the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, this can be annualized to an estimated of 160 Veterans actually homeless per year within the 12-parish region.

Another indicator of local Veteran homelessness each year, from Sept. 2011 to Aug. 2012, The Wellspring served 280 persons in the Veterans’ homeless programming.

Why is Veteran homelessness a problem?
The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans explains the reason for this overrepresentation: “In addition to the complex set of factors influencing all homelessness – extreme shortage of affordable housing, livable income and access to health care – a large number of displaced and at-risk veterans live with lingering effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance abuse, which are compounded by a lack of family and social support networks. Military occupations and training are not always transferable to the civilian workforce, placing some veterans at a disadvantage when competing for employment.” (nchv.org)

What programs are available at The Wellspring for Veterans and Veteran families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness?
The Wellspring helps eligible Veterans and their families in Northeast Louisiana who have recently become homeless (or are about to) get quickly rehoused and then help them address the issues that led to their homelessness by connecting them with services and benefits they may need including VA benefits (see below). Together we can achieve the mission of this program: Every Hero Deserves a Home!

The Wellspring Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program Offering:
Housing counseling and search assistance
Vocational rehabilitation counseling
Educational assistance
Healthcare services
Referrals for obtaining VA and community benefits
And much more

The Wellspring was selected by the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs to offer the Grant Per Diem Program in Northeast Louisiana! This exciting new program is to help eligible Veterans with or without families who have recently become homeless or are unstably housed access housing and then help them address the issues that led to their homelessness by connecting them with services and benefits they may need including VA benefits (see below). This is the first time a program like this has been offered in our area specifically for our Veterans.

Eligible persons are:
• Must be honorably discharged Veteran (either individual Veteran or Veteran and family) in any of the 12 Northeast LA parishes with at least 2 years of service
• Must lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence (such as staying with family or friends) OR living in an area not designed for sleeping/living accommodations such as on the streets, abandoned buildings, or cars
• Must have the ability to remain stably housed after 6 to 9 months of service and assistance
Services Available:
• Rental assistance while participating in the program
• Assistance with move in, utility arrearages and deposits, and furniture
• Intensive case management
• Community referrals
• Assistance with benefits
• Life skills classes to include money management, nutrition, healthy relationships, basics of being a good tenant, and parenting if needed
• Requires daily contact with the case manager
• Access to counselor on staff

How can I contact The Wellspring for help or information?
For program information or to seek help, contact The Wellspring’s Housing and Supportive Services office at (318) 807-6200 during regular office hours or visit our website at wellspringalliance.org. After hours or in case of emergency call (318) 323-1505 or 1-800-716-7233.

How can I help get out the word about the program?
The staff has plenty of posters and brochures organizations can display and use to let our Vets know about these services in our area that may be urgently needed by themselves or a Vet they know. Also, free presentations can be scheduled for your group, business, etc. about the program by contacting the program office at (318) 807-6200. Together we can be sure we achieve the mission of this program – Every Hero Deserves a Home!