VA Secretary Eric Shinseki announced last year his goal of ending veteran homelessness. VA took a step toward helping that cause earlier this week with the launching of its National Call Center for Homeless Veterans, a phone service that links homeless and at-risk veterans, their families and other interested parties to appropriate VA and community-based resources. Callers can speak with trained VA staff personnel at (877) 424-3838, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
VA also launched an online Homeless Veterans Chat service, which can be accessed at VA's Homeless Veterans Web page . Homeless Veterans Chat provides an outlet for veterans, their families and friends to go online and anonymously chat with a trained VA counselor. The online feature is intended to reach out to all homeless or at-risk veterans regardless of whether they are enrolled in the VA health-care system.
VA has forecasted a five-year plan to end veteran homelessness, and the call center is one of the first of the plan's initiatives.