VA mobile medical units boost access to care for homeless veterans 

VA mobile medical units boost access to care for homeless veterans 

Homeless veterans across the country will have increased access to VA health care.

The Department of Veterans Affairs announced Aug. 3 that it will release 25 mobile medical units across the country over the next six months to provide homeless and at-risk veterans the health care and support they need. The first mobile medical unit is onsite at the VA Orlando Healthcare System. See a schedule for the release of the mobile medical units here.

The mobile medical units are vans or trucks that give veterans a private space to meet with medical providers, including mental health clinicians, social workers and other staff that provide primary care. Care provided also includes women’s health, audiology, laboratory and telehealth.

“Veterans experiencing homelessness face a variety of barriers to accessing health care, including a lack of transportation,” said VA Secretary Denis McDonough in a press release. “With these new mobile medical units, homeless and at-risk veterans don’t have to visit VA hospitals — we come right to them.”

According to a press release, in 2022, VA housed more than 40,000 formerly homeless veterans, prevented more than 17,700 veterans and their families from falling into homelessness, and helped nearly 191,700 additional veteran families who were experiencing financial difficulties keep their homes or avoid foreclosure. Veterans experiencing homelessness has fallen by 11% since early 2020, thanks in part to these efforts. For 2023, VA has set a goal to house at least 38,000 veterans.

The mobile medical units are made possible by the VA’s Homeless Patient Aligned Care Teams, whose mission is to address the unique challenges homeless veterans face with accessing and engaging in health care. Along with the mobile medical units, VA has 83 Mobile Vet Centers around the country to provide eligible veterans with counseling and other outreach services who live in rural areas far from a VA medical facility.