The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs’ Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program has been providing targeted housing assistance and supportive services to Veterans and Veteran families since October 1, 2011. The FY 2020 Annual Report, primarily authored by Abt Associates, covers SSVF’s ninth year of program operations. This includes describing the SSVF program office efforts, the demographics of SSVF program participants, participants’ living situations prior to participation in SSVF, and providing an overview of Veterans’ and their households’ outcomes (such as their connections to resources and mainstream benefits to support their continued stability after program exit).
The report also describes in detail how SSVF launched one of the earliest federal responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, rapidly identifying and placing vulnerable homeless Veterans in hotels and motels as an alternative to the streets, congregate shelters, and transitional housing. At the time of this report’s release, over 40,000 Veterans found temporary refuge in these hotel and motel placements to reduce risks of exposure to COVID-19.
2020 REPORT HIGHLIGHTS:
- COVID-19 Response: SSVF’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic; including demographic and health data for Veterans served by SSVF that highlight their vulnerability to serious illness and death from COVID-19; programmatic measures to address Veteran shelter and housing needs during the pandemic; the integration of a diversity, equity, and inclusion focus into pandemic response efforts; and the initiation of health care navigation services, and enhanced SSVF coordination with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-VA Supportive Housing program.
- Equity Analysis of Data: SSVF disaggregated data and provided analysis on Veteran enrollments and returns to VA homeless programs by race, ethnicity, and gender to identify disparities that must be addressed.
- Shallow Subsidies: SSVF piloted and expanded the Shallow Subsidy Initiative. The service is structured to offer more modest rental support over a longer time-period than traditional rapid re-housing to fill a rental assistance gap for Veteran households that did not require intensive case management services but still required longer-term rental assistance than SSVF has previously offered. Initial data on its outcomes from FY 2021 and FY 2022 (first 6 months) are included.