This episode of Borne the Battle – a benefits breakdown – features HUD-VASH, a collaborative program between HUD and VA that provides support to help homeless Veterans and their families – and those at risk of becoming homeless – to find and sustain permanent housing.

Veterans Matter is one of the many nonprofits which work alongside and enhance HUD-VASH’s ability to reduce homelessness among Veterans.

According to the 2020 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress, there were 37,252 homeless Veterans in 2020, and 15,204 of those Veterans were unsheltered.

For Meghan Deal, national director of the HUD-VASH Program, and Ken Leslie, a former homeless man and founder of Veterans Matter, these troubling statistics are an indication of the importance of their work. In this episode of Borne the Battle, Deal and Leslie answer these questions and more:

  • What motivates them to help Veterans despite not being Veterans themselves?
  • What does help from HUD-VASH and nonprofits like Veterans Matter look like?
  • What makes a Veteran eligible for HUD-VASH assistance?
    • What makes a Veteran “homeless?”
  • How can people get involved with helping homeless Veterans in their community?

If you are a Veteran who is homeless or at risk of homelessness, call 1-877-424-3838 for immediate assistance.


The HUD-VASH program also has resources geared specifically for the Native American Veteran population. For tribes that are interested in providing rental assistance and supportive services to Native American Veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, read up on Tribal HUD-VASH and considering submitting an application.

Having access to safe and adequate housing is a human right. If you know a Veteran who is homeless or at imminent risk of being homeless, encourage them to call VA for assistance. There are people working for and alongside VA, like Deal and Leslie, who are committed to rooting out homelessness and are standing by ready to help.


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By Calvin Wong is an intern with VA’s Digital Media Engagement team. He studies History as an undergraduate at the University of California, Davis.

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Published on Sep. 6, 2021

Estimated reading time is 2.5 min.

Views to date: 1,138

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