Board of Supervisors Finalizes Marching Home: A Strategy to End Veteran Homelessness
The Orange County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday finalized the County’s strategy to end veteran homelessness by December 2020, directing County staff to contract with a housing navigator to assist veterans in their search for housing.
“We must take care of the men and women who served our country. We are making progress with Marching Home, by connecting homeless veterans to the resources and services they need, including their families,” said Vice Chair Michelle Steel, Second District Supervisor.
Marching Home: A Strategy to End Veteran Homelessness in Orange County will develop a systematic, intentional and sustainable multi-sector response to veterans in need of assistance and promote coordination of and collaboration with many partners to meet veterans’ needs.
After the 2019 Point In Time counted 311 veterans experiencing homelessness, the Board directed the Office of Care Coordination to create a strategy to end veteran homelessness.
The strategy aims to reach out to and provide all veterans access to available housing resources by December 2020. The County has collaborated with the Department of Veterans Affairs to host Veteran Housing Resource Fairs in all three regional Service Planning areas to engage veterans experiencing homelessness. Central and North Service Planning Areas had their resource fairs in June and July. The South Service Planning Area resource fair is scheduled for August 30.
Resources for veterans include vouchers for U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-VA Supportive Housing, or HUD-VASH. Currently 80 veterans have a HUD-VASH voucher and are searching for available housing unit. The Orange County, Anaheim and Santa Ana housing authorities have another 400 HUD-VASH vouchers to issue to veterans seeking housing.
To provide more housing by December 2020, 139 HUD-VASH project-based units are under development, including the 75-unit Santa Ana Veterans Village opening in March 2020, 49-unit Placentia Veterans Village in August 2020 and the 15-unit Salerno at Cypress in September 2020.