• George W. Bush Institute's

    Nonprofit Guide for Post-9/11 Veterans

  • Veterans can experience a range of housing challenges upon transition: disability status, natural disasters, financial hardship or a series of issues which lead to homelessness, whether short term or long-term. Many post-9/11 veterans may face these difficult obstacles, but less-severe housing challenges exist for wounded veterans needing alterations to their homes. Other veterans and their families may suffer from fire or flood disasters or find themselves at risk of eviction.

How to navigate Housing services

General Homelessness Services

Some veterans may encounter a series of challenges which leave them on the brink of homelessness or on the streets. To address this issue, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Department of Labor (DOL) have funded a broad network of nonprofit organizations. These organizations can provide emergency financial assistance to prevent homelessness; place veterans in temporary housing while they seek assistance with health care, substance use issues or employment needs; or place veterans in permanent housing.

Questions To Ask When Selecting Your Nonprofit

  • Does your organization get federal grant money either from the VA or the Department of Labor – specifically, from the SSVF (Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program) or HVRP (Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program)? Note: If an organization has this funding, it indicates that they meet a measure of quality high enough to receive government support.
  • If your organization does get federal grant money, are you providing job training, counseling, and other supportive services?
  • Do you accept all veterans regardless of discharge level?
  • Do I have to enter a rehabilitation program before I am allowed to enter your program if I have a substance abuse disorder? Do you have a collaborative rehabilitation program for substance abuse?
  • If I had to stay at your facility, is there a minimum time period or a maximum time period of stay? Is there a formalized treatment program/process?
  • Can you provide housing to my family (spouse and/or children) as well?
  • Do you have women-specific housing?
  • How long will you follow-up to ensure my long-term success?
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Home Gift/Giveaway Programs

Some organizations give mortgage-free homes to veterans through a range of programs. Some of these programs begin as temporary housing and once the veteran has a proven record of financial responsibility, the home becomes their permanent home. Other home-giveaway programs are partnerships that provide mortgage-free homes to alleviate a major financial need, providing the family relief during difficult times.

Questions To Ask When Selecting Your Nonprofit

  • Can you describe your particular service? What are your eligibility criteria?
  • Is the home you will be providing completely mortgage-free or reduced cost? What are the cost responsibilities related to the home ownership prior to moving in, upkeep, recurring costs and so on?
  • Do you provide education on home ownership and include maintenance schedules?
  • How will I be expected to manage recurring long-term costs associated with owning my home, such as property taxes, utilities, insurance, maintenance, etc.?
  • Do you offer any financial support in the first year? Do you offer any financial support should I have difficulty managing these costs?
  • Will I at any point be allowed to sell the home in the future should I decide to move?
  • Will I have to participate in any public or media event, advertising or reporting associated with receiving these services?
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Housing Accommodation and Housing Assistance

Veterans suffering from severe physical disabilities may encounter challenges while performing the normal tasks of everyday life. Their homes may require modifications to bathrooms, lowering of sinks, installation of chair systems, and ramps to get in the front door.

While the Department of Veterans Affairs provides funding for these home modifications, veterans often find this process to be long and difficult. To address this, some nonprofit organizations will retrofit a veteran’s home to accommodate a veteran’s challenges resulting from their disabilities.

Questions To Ask When Selecting Your Nonprofit

  • What types of specific home modification services do you provide?
  • Is there a cost associated with your services? Can I use any government benefits or do I have to pay out of pocket? Will you help me with any required paperwork for government benefits?
  • Should it be necessary, will you provide me and my family with temporary housing or the means with which to acquire it?
  • Will I have to participate in any sort of public or media event associated with receiving these services?
  • Do you have testimonials from people satisfied with the work you’ve done to their homes?
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