HOUSE BILL TO HELP HOMELESS VETERANS PASSES U.S. HOUSE

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[Homeless Veterans\H.R. 3749]
A 2015 Community Homelessness Assessment, Local Education and Networking Groups Survey (Project CHALENG Survey) shows that legal assistance accounted for four of the top ten unmet needs for both male and female veterans.
Photo: Office of Rep. Joyce

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed unanimously the Legal Services for Homeless Veterans Act, H.R. 3749.

If enacted, the bill would allow the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) to partner with public and private entities to increase legal services for homeless veterans and those at-risk of homelessness. H.R. 3749 mirrors language from U.S. Congresswoman Joyce Beatty’s (OH-03) bill, the Homeless Veterans Legal Services Act, H.R. 716.

Providing expanded access to free, high-quality legal services is one way we can uphold the promises made to our nation’s veterans,” Rep. Beatty said following passage of H.R. 3749. “This bill reaffirms that promise to those brave men and women who answered the call to serve their country, and I am proud to help in Congress.”

Under current law, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) is only authorized to fund legal services through the Supportive Services for Veterans Families (SSVF) program and the Grant Per Diem (GDP) program. A 2015 Community Homelessness Assessment, Local Education and Networking Groups Survey (Project CHALENG Survey) shows that legal assistance accounted for four of the top ten unmet needs for both male and female veterans, highlighting the drastic need to expand access to services.

The Legal Services for Homeless Veterans Act is awaiting further consideration in the U.S. Senate.

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