"DASH for VASH" Event Raises Awareness of Available Housing Vouchers for Homeless Veterans in Louisville
Louisville employees raised awareness for the HUD-VASH program in an initiative that is the first of its kind in the nation - "DASH for VASH."
Staff from the HUD Louisville Field Office recently traded in their work suits for jogging suits and running shoes to take part in an inaugural cross-programmatic initiative dubbed "DASH for VASH." The event, which involved four HUD program areas and the Department of Veterans Affairs, was highlighted by a team of four employees who spent the day emphasizing that HUD-VASH (Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing vouchers) resources are available to homeless veterans by distributing new promotional materials to a number of community centers, church soup kitchens and shelters where the homeless veterans are likely to visit. Members of the team included Sarah Andino (MF), David Railey (FPM), Anne Roark (PIH), and Steve Thomas (CPD). To show their solidarity, other staff members also dressed in "DASH for VASH" attire for the day.
Although most of the places visited were aware of the program's existence, many were unaware that the vouchers remain available for use. Therefore, the Louisville Field Office is confident that these personal visits have opened up lines of communication and that they will ultimately help increase future utilization of the program. "DASH for VASH" coordinators Anne Roark and David Railey will continue to monitor the program performance to ensure that the vouchers are helping the homeless veterans of Louisville as intended.
Anne Roark, HUD Public Housing Revitalization Specialist, and Sarah Andino, HUD Multifamily Housing Project Manager, visit with a staff member and drop off promotional materials for the HUD-VASH program at a local neighborhood center in Louisville, Kentucky.
Those unfamiliar with the VASH program should be aware of the President's pledge to end Veteran homelessness by 2015. Since 2008, HUD and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) have provided significant funding to the VASH program in order to reach this goal. HUD-VASH combines housing choice voucher (HCV) rental assistance for homeless veterans with case management and clinical services provided by the VA. The program will receive $50 million in appropriations to fund approximately 7,000 HCV's for homeless veterans and their families for 2011 nationwide. HUD-VASH has been particularly successful in the Louisville Metro area with a utilization rate of 87 percent of the 200 vouchers designated in 2010. However, the Louisville Field Office will continue its increased outreach efforts until the program has reached 100 percent utilization.
For more information, visit the Kentucky HUD-VASH Program website or contact Anne Roark, HUD Public Housing Revitalization Specialist, at (502) 618-8107.