|Where We Are|
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, COVID-19 has created even more challenges in the landscape of veteran homelessness. Veterans experiencing homelessness are at higher risk for contracting the virus due to underlying health conditions and age. For example, 4% of COVID-19 related deaths in Washington, DC, were homeless veterans, even though they make up only 1% of the total population.
The Homeless to Housed program is capitalizing on the Center's unique position as a central clearinghouse for the patchwork quilt of local and national veteran assistance programs to help communities reach "functional zero." This program works with organizations whose capabilities include expertise with fair housing practices, which veterans qualify for certain federal programs, compassionate outreach, case management, credit repair, and financial counseling/education. The result is that homeless veterans find affordable housing sooner.
The Way Ahead
Housing advocates aren't wondering whether the ongoing coronavirus pandemic will lead to an increase in homeless veterans, but instead how big the increase will be.
To address this, Dixon Center will leverage what already exists at the local level — those services and supports used in our neighborhoods, by civilians and veterans alike, for years. Our goal is to maximize access to affordable housing and minimize the projected increase in homeless veterans. We will accomplish this goal by linking four of our five focus areas at the national and local levels:
Housing solutions: Collaborating and building partnerships with national partners to expand affordable housing opportunities and services for veterans.
Workforce development and career placement: Helping organizations and institutions with programs that recruit, integrate, train, and retain transitioning service members, veterans and military families.
Wellness research and development: Assessing, advising, and assisting organizations as they create, or expand, products and services across the eight dimensions of wellness: emotional, spiritual, intellectual, physical, environmental, occupational, financial, and social.
Advancing impact via service networks: Facilitating the integration of military and veteran services into existing organizational programs in order to increase impact.