Supportive Services for Veterans Families Program
The Supportive Services for Veterans Families Program (SSVF) is a supportive services outreach program operated by VOA Chesapeake, Inc. and the VA SSVF Office. The SSVF is a community-based program which will provide a range of supportive services to very low income Veteran families in or transitioning to permanent housing to promote housing stability. The primary goals are to assist families transitioning from homelessness to permanent housing and prevent at-risk families from becoming homeless.
To improve housing stability, the SSVF provides eligible Veteran families with outreach, case management, assistance obtaining VA and other benefits, and supportive services including:
- Healthcare services
- Daily living services
- Personal financial planning services
- Transportation services
- Fiduciary and payee services
- Legal services
- Childcare services
- Housing counseling services
The SSVF may also provide time-limited payments to third parties such as landlords, utility companies, moving companies and licensed childcare providers to help families stay in or acquire permanent housing on a sustainable basis.
SSVF clients may need services and support to address the following contributing factors to homelessness: drug or alcohol abuse, mental health concerns, employment needs, education needs, lack of civilian work experience, disabilities, and/or a chronic inability to obtain and sustain permanent housing.
The SSVF assists clients in developing a sense of community and learning to access necessary support systems for meeting their needs. The “client” is viewed as an entire family, children included. The family is treated as a unit, and the program focuses on the successful progress of each family.
Upon entry to the program residents will often need a multitude of services and supports to address the factors that contributed to their housing instability. The services provided will be designed to gradually decrease as the family reduces their needs for intensive intervention. It is believed that this reduction in need will be the result of increased self-sufficiency for each resident including an increased connection to community supports.
The SSVF is designed to provide supportive services to help each family increase and develop self-sufficiency within their housing environment. Comprehensive case management is of primary importance and a case manager is assigned to each family unit and is responsible for providing a comprehensive psycho-social assessment of needs, formulation of an Individual Program Plan (IPP), and the implementation and management of the IPP. All family members have involvement in this process. Both short and long term goals are identified with objectives or measurable action steps and interventions toward goal achievement. The family is to work steadily towards their identified goals throughout their affiliation with the program. Regular meetings with the Case Manager to discuss progress are required. The case manager will assist the resident in obtaining access to needed resources, offered within the program or in the community. Resources to be provided within the program include:
- Case management
- Transportation assistance to interviews, appointments, etc.
- Referrals to community services and resources
- Crisis intervention
- Mental health services
- Substance abuse and recovery services
- Life skills training on issues such as parenting, budgeting, health care and home maintenance
- Employment and/or education referral and assistance
- Assistance with securing donations such as furniture and clothing
- Food preparation and pantry assistance
The SSVF provides support and structure necessary for families to progress towards self-sufficiency. In turn, families of the program are expected to focus their efforts on constructive tasks that lead to the achievement of goals set forth in their IPP. In support of this the following expectations of the clients apply:
- Clients must refrain from substance abuse and may be required to participate in drug and alcohol testing.
- All clients, adults and children, must be involved in constructive daytime activities, employment, school or other, as appropriate.
- Clients must focus on their needs and positive growth.
- Clients must be willing to participate fully in the Program and work on issues and needs obstructing achievement and maintenance of self-sufficiency. Involvement in group and individual assignments regarding issues such as parenting skills, budgeting and finance, household management, and empowerment/self-esteem may be required.
- Financial responsibilities such as income, rent payments, savings and verifications may be required for proper support.
- Clients will be supported to maintain their home in a safe, sanitary and organized manner as expected by housing providers. Inspections may be conducted.
As residents progress and achieve their goals and less intensive interventions are needed, program requirements and services can be scaled back. Successful progress in the program will be based on an individual’s ability to attain their goals and positive presence in the Program.
For more information, contact Michele Porter at mporter@VOAches.org or 703.341.7020.