Operation Vets Home
In 2014, Michelle Obama put the issue of veteran homelessness high on her agenda.
“Altogether, roughly 58,000 veterans are experiencing homelessness in America today -– a number that, fortunately, has fallen sharply in the past few years. But whatever the number, these brave men and women have served this country with courage and grace. And after all that, too many of them have come home only to fight a new battle -– a battle to keep a roof over their head, a battle just to have somewhere to go when it rains.” (source)
That year, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the administration made a commitment to end veteran homelessness because “even one homeless veteran is a shame.” (source) Their goal was to incentivize local communities with additional resources to be used solely for housing homeless and at-risk vets. As a result in early 2015, EveryOne Home, Support Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) grantee agencies and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) formed the collaborative Operation Vets Home to implement the local initiative to end veteran homelessness.
If you are interested in learning about the Operation Vets Home Committee, click here.
To tackle the issue at the local level, OVH created a by-name list of all homeless veterans in the county. Operation Vets Home has created this list, through use initially of HMIS reports, and ongoing via intensive data monitoring and reporting from the partner providers in the initiative. Operation Vets Home is seeking assistance from additional agencies in an effort to be sure we are reaching all Veterans experiencing homelessness in Alameda County, particularly those who may not be connected to a veteran specific housing assistance program like SSVF.
There are two ways to connect your veteran to Operation Vets Home. First, you can use the referral form, which is faxed to EveryOne Home, who will refer your veteran to one of our providers. You will receive an email confirming the receipt of referral. The second way is to call the Operation Vets Home voicemail and a worker can then begin attempting to locate your veteran.
Any Veteran encountered by your outreach teams or who utilizes / is utilizing your programs who is also experiencing homelessness should be referred to Operation Vets Home, so that they can be connected to SSVF specific services, including housing. Please be sure to complete the referral form with the Veteran present, and have them sign the Release of Information so an SSVF grantee agency can contact them about housing options and other service needs.
Any questions should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
and any referrals should be faxed to EveryOne Home, c/o Jackie Ballard, at the fax number included in the provided documentation. Operation Vets Home looks forward to receiving your referrals and working together to help end Veteran homelessness in Alameda County!
Operation Vets Home Partners:
Berkeley Food and Housing Project
East Bay Community Recovery Project
East Oakland Community Project
Swords to Plowshares