This is MY experience helping homeless veterans in LA county. I’m not sure if every state/county is the same, so please keep that in mind when going through the steps.
NOTE: These steps are for veterans who were active duty and were discharged with a rating of honorable.
- Make sure the veteran has at least their state ID. If not, any picture ID should do until other documents are recovered. If the veteran does not have any picture ID, they can get a DMV identification voucher from the VA or any nonprofit organization that helps the homeless.
- Take the veteran and their ID to the West LA VA building 500 and have them register at the Business Center. Should take about 15 min.
- After they are registered at THAT VA office, go to building 257, the Community Resource and Referral Centers (CRRCs) office. These offices are located in all major cities.
- Go in with the veteran when they see the social worker, and ask the social worker what services the veteran qualifies for and why. Make sure you ask for Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF). Individuals CAN qualify for this service.
- After the social worker asks about housing the veteran, encourage and ask about temporary housing. Be specific with where the veteran would like to stay. Not all temporary housing is shelters. You have to ask what is available and be diligent.
- Once in temporary housing, work with the veteran to get a copy of SSVF required paperwork (DD214, social security card, and state issued birth certificate). If they need to open a medical claim, take them to the Bob Hope Patriotic Hall, 2nd floor and talk to George Dixon. His team can help with the claim.
- Help the veteran sign up for General Relief (GR) at the Department of Social Services (DPSS) office. This will allow them to get food stamps, and cash aid when SSVF approved.
- The veteran can sign up for a discounted bus card online at https://www.taptogo.net/. They will need to fill out the LIFE application to do so.
Good luck. If there’s anything I should add please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Advocacy is key…make sure that if you are a veteran in need of assistance, you bring someone with you that you trust and know will fight for you as you fought for us.