WASHINGTON — A bipartisan bill to continue ongoing programs to end veteran homelessness was introduced Thursday by Nevada Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen.
The bill would reauthorize programs under the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Labor Department that are set to expire Sept. 30, the end of fiscal year 2018.
“Nevada’s veterans have put their lives on the line to protect this nation, and it’s our responsibility to support them when they finish,” said Rosen, a member of the House Armed Services Committee.
There are more than 200,000 veterans living in Nevada, she said.
Co-sponsors of the bill include Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., and Rep. Bruce Westerman, R-Ark.
Shalimar Cabrera, executive director of U.S.VETS said reauthorization of the programs is vital to ensure veterans “are no longer finding themselves homeless on the streets that they fought to defend.”
Earlier this week, Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., asked VA Secretary David Shulkin to explore ways for his department to steer homeless veterans into science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers.
Heller, in a letter to Shulkin, said Nevada has demand for workers with STEM skills for high-tech industries in the state.
“Nevada continues to face the challenge of combatting veteran homelessness, with hundreds of veterans still living in shelters or on the street,” said Heller, a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
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Keeping Our Commitment to Ending Homelessness Act
The bill would reauthorize existing programs:
• Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program — provides job search, job training, placement.
• Homeless Women Veterans and Homeless Veterans with Children Reintrigration Program — job training, counseling.
• Mental Healthcare for Homeless Veterans — treatment for medical, psychiatric and substance use disorders.
• Referral and Counseling Services for Certain Veterans at Risk of Homelessness
• Supportive Services for Veteran Families — grants for low-income veterans transitioning from homelessness.
• Housing Assistance for Homeless Veterans
• Grants and Per Diem Homeless Veterans with Special Needs — grants to community-based agencies.
• Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans
Source: Rep. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev.