Reps. Bradley and Herseth Introduce Legislation to Combat Homelessness Among Veterans

From the Office of Congressman Jeb Bradley

Legislation would help to target support services to veterans who need it most

(Washington, D.C.) - U.S. Reps. Jeb Bradley (R-NH) and Stephanie Herseth (D-SD) have introduced legislation in the House of Representatives to help combat homelessness among veterans by providing supportive services to very low-income veterans in their homes. H.R. 4746, the "Services to Prevent Veterans' Homelessness Act," would authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to provide financial assistance to nonprofit organizations and consumer cooperatives to provide for supportive services for very low-income veterans occupying permanent housing. The bill would reserve $25 million of the funds appropriated annually for veterans 'medical care for this supportive services program.

" The 1.5 million veterans living in poverty face health and vocational challenges, which limits their ability to sustain housing and maintain their independence," stated Rep. Bradley, a member of the House Veterans' Affairs and Budget Committees . "This legislation will ensure that low-income and rural veterans receive the individualized care and counseling they may need to transition from temporary to permanent housing or search for employment, for example. Our veterans deserve the best care possible, and we should never falter in our promise to those who have sacrificed for our country."

Rep. Herseth, who is Ranking Member on the Veterans' Affairs Subcommitteeon Economic Opportunity, said, "This legislation will help ensure that the federal government keeps its promises to our nations' veterans, particularly to very low-income and rural veterans who would benefit greatly from flexible and individualized support services provided in home-based settings. With more than 1.5 million veterans living in poverty, it is clear that we must do more to help those who so willingly and bravely have served their nation."

Cheryl Beversdorf, President and CEO of the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, commented, "The Services to Prevent Veterans' Homelessness Act would ensure the availability of community-based supportive services connected to permanent housing, a practice found to be effective in helping veterans and others experiencing homelessness transition from residential instability to housing security. The bill has our full support."

H.R. 4746 has been referred to the House Veterans' Affairs Committee, where it now awaits further consideration.