Arkansas Veterans to Receive Housing Assistance Vouchers This Month

In a report issued on Friday December 11, the Pine Bluff, AR, housing authority will receive and distribute 10 housing choice vouchers provided by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. The vouchers will be given to veterans living in the state of Arkansas.

What Housing and Urban Development Is Doing to Help Veterans

On Thursday, December 10, the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced that it would be awarding $46 million in rental assistance and housing vouchers for veterans across the United States. The goal of the funding is to help veterans who are at risk of becoming homeless. The funds are through the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Veteran's Affairs Supportive Housing Program. This program provides rental assistance and case management. The case management is delivered through the Department of Veteran's Affairs.

Arkansas Agencies Receiving the Housing Vouchers

The state of Arkansas will receive $99,318 in housing vouchers. Those vouchers will be split between two agencies in the state. Those agencies are the Housing Authority and the Texarkana Housing Authority. The Housing Authority is based in Central Arkansas and partners with the Veteran's Healthcare System of Central Arkansas. It will receive $44,246 that will be split across 10 vouchers. The Texarkana Housing Authority, which partners with the Overton Brooks Veteran's Affairs Medical Center, will get a total of $55,072.

What the State's Housing Authorities and Veteran's Affairs Providers Have to Say

According to the grant recipients, these vouchers will serve as critical tools for veterans. The funds will help end homelessness in this vulnerable population. The Department of Housing and Urban Development and Department of Veteran's Affairs have developed this partnership in order to help homeless veterans find decent housing in the private rental market. They aim to make decent housing more affordable to veterans. The program is called the Housing Choice Voucher Program.

What Federal Leadership Has to Say

Putting an end to homelessness in veterans has been a priority of the 45th President of the United States, explains Dr. Ben Carson. Dr. Carson is the Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. He added that the federal government has an obligation to ensure that the nation's veterans are not left out on the streets. These people gave so much for the United States, and it is the nation's duty to ensure that they have a voice and do not have to live on the street or in an emergency shelter.

Other Services Available to Homeless Veterans

The joint program between the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Veteran's affairs offers assessments of veterans who are dealing with homelessness. It performs the assessment before referring individuals to housing agencies that offer the vouchers. The decision to refer a veteran for a voucher depends on several factors. One of them is their duration of homelessness. Another is how much support they need in order to obtain and maintain permanent housing. The program offers rental assistance and case management. The case management may include counseling, material assistance, job search help, clothes for interviews and more.

What Veterans Need to Do in Order to Participate in the Program

An Arkansas veteran who wants to participate in the voucher program will need to apply. They will need to rent a privately owned housing unit. Most of them will need to contribute 30% of their monthly income toward the rent. The Department of Veteran's Affairs also provides eligible homeless veterans with healthcare, mental health services and other support assistance throughout the United States and its territories.

Why Homelessness is a Problem Among Veterans

There are many reasons why homelessness is a problem among veterans. Many of them leave their years of duty with mental health problems, such as post-traumatic stress disorder. If those mental health disorders aren't treated, they may have a tough time of finding and holding down a job. Veterans also have higher than average rates of substance abuse disorders. This situation also makes it difficult for a veteran to hold down a job. Many of the jobs that veterans find do not pay well. Some veterans don't reintegrate into civilian life easily, and the isolation, depression, anxiety and other issues that arise from that can make it difficult for them to ask for the help that they need. Some are resistant to asking for and receiving help with housing and jobs.

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