Legion attends homeless housing summit

The American Legion attended the Veteran Access to Housing Summit in San Antonio last month, maintaining a significant presence at the two-day event hosted by the National Coalition For Homeless Veterans (NCHV), and in partnership with the Home Depot Foundation and Citi and coordination with VA and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The summit brought service providers and other relevant stakeholders to the Hyatt Regency in San Antonio from Sept. 17-18 to collaboratively find ways to increase housing opportunities for homeless veterans.

Mark Walker, deputy director of the Legion’s Economic Division, was on hand, providing input on key issues like early assessment to identify at-risk veterans, education, and employment, as well as learning how service providers can work closely with the Public Housing Administration and local Continuum of Care committees in procuring housing. Walker also attended policy sessions at the event, discussing specific issues and helping make recommendations on ways to improve VA program performance.

“The housing issue is something that needs to be on the minds of policy makers and advocates everywhere,” Walker said. “Conferences like this one are essential to improve the dialogue on the issue and to make recommendations to VA on ways it can improve its housing programs and its collaborations with its community-based organization partners.”

The Legion and NCHV have a long-standing relationship. Earlier this year, the two organizations produced ON CALL: Handbook For Homeless Veterans and Service Providers. The joint publication is a comprehensive guide of services available for homeless veterans, including an in-depth listing of employment resources, housing assistance, health or legal services, and information about other support systems.