House passes bill to remove job training obstacles for homeless veterans

Kaylah Jackson
December 11, 2018 - 10:56 am

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Currently, veterans who receive housing assistance from VA aren’t eligible for additional job training and support but a new bill passed by the House, Tuesday, could erase that hurdle.

Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-CA) and Congressman Brad Wenstrup (O-OH) co-wrote an act that would change the rules on who within the homeless veteran population can participate in the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP).

As the program stands, veterans who are eligible for housing assistance through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program, Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF), or Native American Housing Assistance, aren’t considered "homeless" by VA, and as a result cannot take part in HVRP.

Within the U.S. Department of Labor, HVRP, allows certain homeless veterans to receive job training, resume preparation, and counseling in order to prepare them to re-enter the workforce. However, eligibility rules on who can participate are stringent.

With this introduction of the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Programs Reauthorization Act, a veteran who is qualified to receive help through those housing assistance agencies can still use the job employment services outlined in the reintegration program.

“I am pleased the House passed our legislation today, which will allow veterans who have struggled with homelessness to remain eligible for job services while utilizing VA housing programs,” said Congresswoman Brownley. “This will help more veterans get jobs, break the cycle of homelessness, and support themselves and their families through meaningful work.”

The act is part of a larger host of bills within the Veterans Benefit and Transition Act of 2018. This particular legislation reauthorizes HVRP for the next three years and supports homeless veteran programming designed for female veterans and homeless veterans with children for the next five years.

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