Funded by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program is designed to rapidly re-house homeless veterans and to prevent homelessness for those at imminent risk because of a housing crisis. SSVF also helps to stabilize veterans once their crisis has been resolved by providing short-term financial assistance, case management, and linkages to VA and community-based services and housing assistance. Despite its name, the program serves largely individual veterans (defined by program rules as “families”) rather than families with children and a parent who is a veteran.
The program uses an approach that focuses on helping individuals and families access permanent housing as quickly as possible and without preconditions, while facilitating access to needed health care, employment, legal services, and other supports.
SSVF has grown significantly, from $60 million in 2012, the year the program was first funded, to $391 million in 2015, reaching about 239,000 veterans over that period of time. Sixty-four percent of the Veterans served by the program have received rapid-rehousing assistance, and 37 percent received homelessness prevention assistance.