OCEANSIDE — Good news for Oceanside veterans who need a hand up, the city received federal grant funds for 45 VASH vouchers to help house homeless veterans.
The HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program, or VASH program, provides homeless veterans rent subsidies, case management, and clinical services through VA healthcare. The program has been instrumental in reducing veteran homelessness.
Veterans in the VASH program are classified by the VA as chronically homeless. Most are single males. Some have health issues and need continued assistance. Others flourish under the program and become financially self-sufficient.
The combination of permanent housing, stability and needed mental health services is key to clients success.
“The average client needs two years of supportive services,” Angela Hanifin, city housing program manager, said. “Others (elderly and disabled) need support services for the rest of their lives.”
Oceanside was awarded a total of $417,154. An award of $402,840 funds vouchers, and $14,314 covers program administration costs.
Oceanside got word of the VASH award in June. Vouchers are effective for one year, beginning in November.
This year the city received five more VASH vouchers than last year. Vouchers will extend help to veterans in the program, and allow additional veterans to benefit from assistance.
The City Council unanimously accepted the VASH grant funds on Oct. 26.
Councilwoman Esther Sanchez said it’s highly beneficial to have case management and clinical services within the VASH program.
The national and local goal of the program is to end veteran homelessness.
Veterans must have an honorable discharge to be part of the VASH program. Veterans who do not qualify for VASH can receive other housing assistance.
The city also oversees 1,424 Section 8 housing vouchers that provide rent subsidies for low-income families, seniors and disabled individuals, plus an additional 150 vouchers for families in need who have recently moved to Oceanside.
A revised administration plan for Section 8 Housing vouchers was also approved on Oct. 26.
The plan includes wording to allow project based vouchers, which links vouchers to housing projects.
This is especially helpful in housing seriously mentally ill individuals who are homeless.
Oceanside has dedicated 96 of its Section 8 vouchers to the Project One for All program, which provides housing, treatment and services to mentally ill individuals.