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Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV)


Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV) is a VA benefits program designed to provide support and resources to homeless or at-risk veterans in the United States. The program aims to help veterans acquire stable housing, access health care services, and reintegrate into their communities. Services offered through HCHV include outreach, case management, and assistance in obtaining permanent housing solutions.

Key Takeaways

  1. HCHV is a program designed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to provide medical care, mental health services, and housing assistance to homeless veterans.
  2. The program aims to reduce homelessness among veterans by offering outreach, direct support, and referrals to other VA resources such as vocational rehabilitation and employment services.
  3. Eligibility for HCHV services is determined by an individual’s status as a veteran, their history of homelessness, and their need for assistance in accessing stable housing and healthcare services.


The Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV) program is a significant element within the VA benefits system as it addresses the critical issue of homelessness among veterans by offering comprehensive healthcare services and resources.

With homelessness disproportionately affecting the veterans’ community, the provision of accessible medical care, mental health support, substance abuse treatment, and case management becomes imperative to improve their quality of life.

Moreover, the HCHV program is essential as it aligns with the wider national effort to reduce homelessness, ensuring our veterans receive the necessary support and assistance after their invaluable service to the nation.

By prioritizing the health and well-being of homeless veterans, the HCHV program serves as a vital safety net that ultimately fosters stability, independence, and self-sufficiency for these respected individuals.


The Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV) program is a critical initiative designed to address the specific needs of the ever-growing population of homeless veterans in the United States. Its primary purpose is to reduce the homelessness rate among veterans by providing access to a comprehensive array of vital medical, mental health, and support services specially tailored to their unique circumstances.

HCHV serves as a vital lifeline for homeless veterans, who often suffer from debilitating physical, mental, and emotional health issues, and it strives to eliminate any barriers that may prevent these individuals from obtaining the care and assistance they so desperately need and deserve. To achieve its goals, HCHV embraces a multifaceted approach, involving partnerships with a network of community-based non-profit organizations, hospitals, and other health providers to extend support to homeless veterans.

Its range of services include outreach, case management, residential treatment, and transitional housing assistance, all of which are geared towards helping veterans regain stability, improve their quality of life, and ultimately transition back into self-sufficiency. By addressing the root causes of homelessness among veterans and providing them with a comprehensive safety net, HCHV is dedicated to ensuring that these brave men and women who have served their country honorably have the opportunity to rebuild their lives and reclaim their rightful place within society.

Examples of Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV)

Emergency Housing Assistance: In 2015, the VA Boston Healthcare System’s HCHV program collaborated with the New England Center and Home for Veterans to provide emergency housing for homeless veterans. The program in Massachusetts helped around 320 veterans per night with safe shelter, meals, and support services, which included mental health care and substance abuse counseling. This collaboration directly demonstrated the importance of the HCHV program in assisting homeless veterans in the real world.

Homeless Veteran Supported Employment Program (HVSEP): In 2017, the San Francisco VA Medical Center provided a successful example of the HCHV program by introducing a comprehensive support system, the Homeless Veteran Supported Employment Program (HVSEP). This program aimed to find mainstream competitive employment for homeless veterans while also providing clinical services. This real-world example highlighted the significant impact the HCHV program can have on the lives of homeless veterans by not only addressing their healthcare needs but also supporting their reintegration into society through employment.

Project CHALENG: The VA’s Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System launched Project CHALENG (Community Homelessness Assessment, Local Education, and Networking Groups) as a part of their HCHV program. The project brought together various stakeholders, such as local shelters, food banks, social service organizations, and healthcare providers, to address the needs of homeless veterans in Alabama. In 2018, the project facilitated the Montgomery Homeless Stand Down, which provided homeless veterans access to free healthcare, dental, and mental health services, as well as access to VA benefits assistance, housing resources, and other support services. This real-world example showcases the effectiveness of the HCHV program in creating a collaborative community effort to address the needs of homeless veterans.

FAQs: Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV)

What is the Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV) program?

The HCHV program is an initiative by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide support and healthcare services to homeless veterans and assist them in finding stable housing options. It addresses the unique healthcare needs of homeless veterans by offering various programs like Outreach Services, Contract Residential Services (CRS), and Community Resource and Referral Centers (CRRC).

How can I access HCHV services?

To access HCHV services, you can contact your nearest VA medical center, VA community-based outpatient clinic, or visit the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans hotline at 1-877-4AID-VET (1-877-424-3838).

What services are provided in HCHV programs?

HCHV programs provide a range of services including outreach, healthcare, mental health treatment, substance use counseling, housing assistance, employment support, and benefits advocacy. The goal is to ensure homeless veterans receive the appropriate care and support they need to transition to a stable and independent life.

Are there any eligibility requirements for HCHV programs?

To be eligible for HCHV programs, you must be a veteran experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless. Additionally, you must meet VA healthcare eligibility requirements, which may include a minimal active duty service period or a discharge status that’s not dishonorable. It’s important to contact your local VA medical center or homeless veteran coordinator for more information on eligibility and enrollment.

Can HCHV programs help me find permanent housing?

Yes, HCHV programs work in collaboration with other VA programs like the HUD-VASH (Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing) and Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) to help homeless veterans obtain permanent housing. HUD-VASH offers rental assistance through housing vouchers, while SSVF provides supportive services to prevent homelessness and promote housing stability.

What can I do if I encounter a homeless veteran in need of help?

If you encounter a homeless veteran in need of help, you can direct them to the nearest VA medical center or community-based outpatient clinic. You can also inform them about the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans hotline by calling 1-877-4AID-VET (1-877-424-3838), which is available 24/7 to connect veterans with support services.

Related VA Benefit Terms

  • Homeless Veterans Supported Housing (HVSH)
  • Outreach and Case Management
  • Homeless Patient Aligned Care Teams (H-PACT)
  • Domiciliary Care for Homeless Veterans (DCHV)
  • Grant and Per Diem (GPD) Program

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