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December 2018 NCHV eNewsletter

December 2018 NCHV eNewsletter
NCHV is ending homelessness among veterans by shaping public policy, promoting collaboration, and building the capacity of service providers
Thank You for Your Support in 2018, and Happy New Year from NCHV
On behalf of the Board of Directors and staff of the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans (NCHV), we would like to personally thank you for your support and efforts throughout 2018. We deeply appreciate your commitment to ending veteran homelessness.

Together, we have decreased the number of homeless veterans on the street on a given night by 48 percent since 2009. That progress would not be possible without your efforts in your community and your support of NCHV, and we thank you deeply for both.
With your help, in 2018 we:
  • worked with Congress to preserve case management for permanent supportive housing and saw long-term advocacy efforts bear fruit with the expansion of eligibility for key employment programs for homeless veterans;
  • continued to provide direct training to service providers virtually, onsite, and via webinar, and launched new training platforms for service providers; and
  • connected hundreds of homeless and at-risk veterans to housing, services, and benefits in their community via our toll-free hotline.
We are committed to honoring our veterans by continuing this work and doing all we can to ensure that no veteran is left out in the cold.
Thank you again for helping us advance our mission this year. We look forward to your continued partnership so that we can bring even more veterans home in 2019.

Hill Watch: House and Senate Pass Bill Including Critical Updates to HVRP Eligibility
Since the 113th Congress, NCHV has advocated for legislation which would make the Department of Labor’s Homeless Veteran Reintegration Program (HVRP) work more seamlessly with the Department of Veterans Affairs homeless programs. That means that we have been working on this bill for five years. NCHV is happy to report that the Senate has passed a bill containing this language, following the same in the House two weeks prior.
In a recent congressional press release, NCHV’s CEO Kathryn Monet described the reason for the bill like this: “HVRP is the best job training and placement resource we have for homeless veterans. For many years however, a bureaucratic hurdle has made it impossible for veterans to qualify if they are housed before they can apply for employment assistance. This bill completely removes that hurdle, ensuring that this program is available for any veteran who needs a permanent home and a good job.”
The final bill (contained in S. 2248, found here) expanded the eligibility for the HVRP program to include veterans who:
  • Are participating in HUD-VASH, or Tribal HUD-VASH,
  • Are receiving assistance through the Native American Housing Assistance and Self Determination Act (NAHASDA),
  • Are participating in the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program, or
  • Were homeless in the previous 60 days.
After failing to pass in the 113th and 114th Congresses due to concerns by Members of Congress about how to pay for the provisions, NCHV is happy to report that with support from four key Members those roadblocks were removed this year. In the House, Representatives Brad Wenstrup (R-OH-2) and Julia Brownley (D-CA-26), and in the Senate, Senators Boozman (R-AR) and Tester (D-MT) were our champions. We thank them all for their hard work and commitment to this issue.
NCHV members played two vital roles in solving this bureaucratic hurdle with HVRP: first, you identified the problem in the field and reported it to us here on the policy side of the office, and secondly you helped advocate for it in conversations, emails, phone calls, and meetings with your elected officials and their staffs. 
This process – though long and arduous – illustrates exactly why NCHV exists, and also illustrates that we rely on our members for their expertise, input, and participation. Thank you to all of you who helped in any way with this process. We couldn’t have done it without you!
All parties expect that the President will sign the bill into law in the coming days.
We anticipate that the Department of Labor, who administers this program, will have an announcement about how they will roll out this change to policy soon. NCHV will be weighing in during that process as well. As always, please wait to hear from your federal leadership on the issue before making any changes to your program’s policies.
Housing Instability, Housing Services Utilization, and Suicide Morbidity Among Transgender Veterans
Transgender individuals -- people whose sex assigned at birth is different from their gender identity -- experience numerous health risks and are overrepresented among the veteran population engaged in care in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). The VA National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans is hosting a webinar to present findings from recent research on transgender veterans served by VHA who experience housing instability, their characteristics and the special risks they face; how frequently they use housing services; and how utilization of housing services might be related to their suicide risk.

The webinar will take place on Jan. 8, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. ET. To register for the webinar, click here.
Funding Opportunities
Brinker International’s goal is to Make People Feel Special, and giving back to those communities is one of Brinker’s core values. Their main areas of giving are health, social services, arts and education, and diversity. Requests can only be made online, and organizations may only apply once a year.

The Sidney Stern Memorial Trust is devoted solely to the funding of charitable, scientific, medical and educational organizations. The Board endeavors to support soundly-managed charitable organizations that give service with a broad scope, have a substantial impact on their target populations, and contribute materially to the general welfare.