Army veteran finds job and housing in months with HUD-VASH

Richard Felix was living in Fairbanks, Alaska when he enlisted in the military at the age of 17. His service has taken him to many countries, including Germany, Korea, France and Greece. After leaving the military, Felix was ready to come full circle and returned to his home country, where his parents still lived. Housing was not a concern.

He had a successful career as a sous chef at a popular restaurant until the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and changed his life. When the restaurant in which he worked closed its doors, Félix suddenly found himself without a job or a home.

This could have broken anyone’s morale, but Felix knew there were resources to help him. He just had to ask.

When Felix lost his home, he took refuge in a temporary shelter until he was referred to the Subsidies and daily allowances program (GPD) by a Anchorage VA Regional Office representing.

GPD put him in touch with the Housing and urban development-VA Housing with support services program, which accelerated the housing voucher process through collaborative case management HUD-VASH GPD.

HUD-VASH has found a home for him

Using the right HUD-VASH, Felix secured housing through Catholic social services, a GPD case management beneficiary, who also helped 14 other veterans find permanent housing.

“We are leveraging community resources to expand the capacity to house Veterans on a permanent basis,” said Erin Johnson, GPD Clinical Program Specialist.

“GPD grant recipients can now help house HUD-VASH-eligible veterans through this unique and agile partnership.

Since 2020, Collaborative Case Management has accelerated the use of HUD-VASH vouchers by partnering with existing GPD case management services.

GPD grant recipients with an existing case management grant may provide services to HUD-VASH-eligible veterans. The program helps them obtain and maintain permanent supportive housing.

From the hotel room to your own apartment in a month

Case managers can also help Veterans find housing and secure placements using a HUD-VASH voucher. They provide ongoing case management services for up to six months after permanent accommodation.

“Felix was referred to the GPD program while staying in a temporary hotel shelter,” said Ryan Chernikoff. Chernikoff is Felix’s GPD Case Manager. “From there, we started buying apartments and we were able to find an apartment within a month. It all sort of fell into place.

Almost simultaneously looking for an apartment, Felix got a job with the local organization 99 Plus 1 Inc.

“They were looking for someone to work with homeless people to put them in positive life situations,” Felix said. “We monitor and support them by providing transportation and scheduling doctor appointments. “

Computer and Internet access

After finding a job and a new apartment, Felix was busier than ever. It has become difficult for him to meet his case manager, in particular because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But thanks to a grant from the Bob Woodruff Foundation, Catholic Social Services was able to provide Felix with a loaned Chromebook, Chromebook training, and money to cover his internet costs.

Having easy access to a computer and the Internet helps Veterans maintain their social and emotional well-being, access virtual health care, attend virtual case management sessions, and explore educational opportunities. and employment.

Now Felix has a rewarding job and permanent accommodation. He can appreciate being back in the tight-knit community of Anchorage.

“We have a lot of resources in Anchorage, but part of it is up to us to take advantage of these opportunities,” he said. “I encourage other veterans to get involved in VA and seek resources.

More information

  • Learn more about VA Subsidies and daily allowances program to determine if your organization is eligible for a support services or housing grant.
  • Veterans who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless should contact the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans. The phone number is 877-4AID-VET (877-424-3838).
  • Visit the VA Homeless Programs Website to learn more about employment initiatives and other programs for veterans coming out of homelessness.

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