Presentation on theme: "Responding to the Needs of Veterans"— Presentation transcript:
1 Responding to the Needs of Veterans Department of Veterans AffairsResponding to the Needs of VeteransSherri Claudio, LCSW, CAPVeterans Justice Outreach SpecialistDepartment of Veterans AffairsOrlando VAMC
2 The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA): The VA – who are we?The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA):Veterans Health Administration (VHA)Administered by VHA – All Health care servicesVA Medical Centers, Ambulatory Care & Community Based Outpatient ClinicsVeteran Benefits Association (VBA)Administered by VA Regional Offices - All VA BenefitsCompensation & Pension, Education, GI Bill, Home Loan Guaranty, etc.National Cemetery Administration (NCA)National and State Veterans CemeteriesHeadstones, Markers & Presidential Memorial Certificates
3 Orlando VAMCOrlando VAMC officially became a medical center on October 1, 2006.5201 Raymond St., Orlando (Baldwin Park)Catchment area includes Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Volusia, Brevard and Lake Counties
4 Clinic Locations Outpatient Clinics Community Based Outpatient Clinics Daytona and VieraCommunity Based Outpatient ClinicsKissimmee, Orange City, Leesburg, and ClermontAnnex LocationsCrossroads (Semoran Blvd.) and Lake NonaVet Center
5 Available VA ServicesMedical, Surgical, Psychiatric Inpatient and Outpatient CareMental Health Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Programs (Homeless Veterans Program, PTSD Program, Coping Skills Program, & Substance Use Disorder Program)Homeless Programs (HCHV, Grant & Per Diem, HUD-VASH, VJO, HCRV)Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder TreatmentMilitary Sexual Trauma TreatmentHome Health Care/Home Medical Equipment (Prosthetics)Nursing Home CareWomen’s Health ClinicDental Care for Eligible Veterans
6 VA EligibilityEligibility is based on each individual’s service and is determined by the VA eligibility/enrollment office.Usually determined by length of service and character of service.What is a DD214?VET Center – served in Combat Erahonorable, general and other than honorable
7 How will YOU know if someone is a Veteran? Ask: Have you ever served in the United States Armed Forces or Military?Do not ask: Are you a Veteran? Many Veterans mistakenly think this applies only to Veterans who served in combat or retired from the military.Refer to local VA facilityWe encourage all Veterans to apply for VA services.
8 Common Issues Unemployment Financial Problems Risk of losing home Medical IssuesMental Health IssuesSubstance Abuse IssuesFamily IssuesLegal ProblemsHomelessness
9 Invisible WoundsCombat can cause invisible wounds to the brain, mind, and soulTraumatic Brain Injury (TBI)Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)Both types of injuries can lead toPoor judgmentImpulsivityDifficulty in matching behavior to the contextBehaviors attributable to these injuriesCan look like criminal behavior (Video)Can be criminal
10 Veterans Justice Programs VA is making a system-wide effort to ensure access to services for the justice-involved veteran population at risk for homelessness, substance abuse, mental illness, and physical health problemsHealthcare for Reentry Veterans Program (HCRV)Veterans Justice Outreach Program (VJO)
11 Goal of VJOThe goal of the VJO program is to avoid unnecessary criminalization of mental illness and extended incarceration among Veterans by ensuring that eligible justice-involved Veterans have timely access to VA mental health and substance abuse services when clinically indicated as well as other VA services and benefits.
12 Limits on VA Authorization Can provide:Outreach, assessment, referral and linkage to servicesTreatment for justice-involved Veterans who are not incarceratedTitle 38 CFR does not allow VHA to provide:Hospital and outpatient care for a Veteran who isEither a patient or inmate in an institution of another government agencyIf that agency has a duty to give that care or services
13 DUSHOM Memo to VISN Directors (May 2009) Designation of a Veteran Justice Outreach (VJO) Specialist at every VAMC to:Provide outreach to justice-involved Veterans in the communities they serveTo take initiative in building working relationships and reach out to potential Justice System Partners to see that eligible justice-involved Veterans get needed carePartner with Law Enforcement Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT) to train law enforcement personnel on Veteran specific issues.
14 Veterans Justice Outreach Specialists Responsible forOutreach, assessment, case management for justice involved Veterans in local courts and jailsLiaison with local justice system partnersProviding/coordinating training for law enforcement personnelSpecialists willAssist in eligibility determination and enrollmentFunction as members of court treatment teamsRefer and link Veterans to appropriate providers
15 Justice Outreach Program While incarcerated, Veterans can:Request his/her DD214Enroll at their local VA Medical CenterApply for the VA transitional and/or supportive housing programsLearn about VA and non-VA community resources for post-release needs
16 Statistics (Orange County Jail) Veterans were arrested and booked at the Orange County Jail.2009 = 13682010 = 13612011 = 1687On a daily basis, Veteran arrests average about 6-8 a day.On one of these days, 14 Veterans were arrested being the most in a single day.
17 Statistics (Con’t)Charges varied from burglary, battery, shoplifting, VOP, sales/delivery, and driving with an invalid driver’s licenseMost Veterans encountered thus far by the Justice Outreach Program received an honorable dischargeCommon issues in incarcerated Veterans have been substance abuse issues and homelessnessMost returning combat Veterans are entering the legal system with domestic violence and substance related charges.
18 Veterans Treatment Courts A Growing Movement Currently 75 Veterans Treatment Courts inOperation- dozen being plannedVeterans Treatment Courts - hybrid Drug and MentalHealth Courts Models to serve veterans strugglingwith addiction, serious mental illness and/orco-occurring disorders.
19 Why a Separate Veterans Court? Provision of Veteran Specific Services – VHA, VBA, Volunteer Veteran MentorsDistinctive Demeanor – Adaption & HumanizationReduce Community Expenses – “Crisis Systems”Increase Public Safety
20 Benefits of Veterans Treatment Court Expedite “access to care” for VeteransEase the burden on valuable community resourcesAllow Veterans to go through the court process with those who are similarly situated and have past experiencesProvide volunteer Veteran MentorsPromote Veteran accountabilityPromote sobriety, recovery and stability through a coordinated response including treatment in conjunction with judicial monitoring
21 Law EnforcementThe Veterans Justice Outreach Program, OEF/OIF Team, VA Police and Veterans Panel have teamed together to facilitate Veteran specific trainings for law enforcement.Trainings have been facilitated for Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT), Crisis Negotiation TeamsPolice Departments and Sheriff DepartmentsCounty and State Probation OfficersVideo
22 Healthcare for Homeless Veterans (HCHV) Homeless Outreach ProgramGrant & Per Diem ProgramHUD/VASH ProgramJustice Outreach Program
23 Homeless OutreachSocial Workers visit locations in the community where homeless individuals gather to identify homeless Veterans.Shelters, soup kitchens, woods, churchesEmergency bed vouchers – Salvation ArmyYearly Stand Down Event“Walk-in” Homeless Services, Bldg. #509 at VAMC
24 Grant & Per Diem (G&PD) Program VA's Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem Program is offered annually (as funding permits) by the Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV) Programs to fund community agencies providing services to homeless veterans.
25 G&PD EligibilityVeteran must be homeless or at risk for homelessness and/or have a mental illness or substance abuse problem.Veteran must have served at least one day of total active service and have honorable, general or other than honorable discharge.Veteran can reside in transitional housing program up to 24 months for a total of three episodes in a lifetime.
26 G&PD Programs Transition House – located in St. Cloud, males & females Serenity House – Deland, males onlyThe Center for Drug-Free Living – Orlando, males only (accepts sex offenders)Salvation Army – Daytona Beach, males & femalesThe Tree of Life Ministries – Orlando, males only
27 HUD/VASHHUD-VASH is Long-Term Intensive Case Management Program for homeless veterans. Funding for HUD-VASH comes from a collaboration between HUD and the VA.This program targets the chronically homeless veteran population.
28 HUD/VASH EligibilityVeteran must demonstrate and need and willing to participate in case managementVeterans must be willing to sign a contract, agree to medical and behavioral health treatment recommendations, and regular case management contacts.Veterans must agree to all requirements of the local PHA who administers the voucher.Must have stable source of income to pay their portion of the rent, utilities, food and transportation (some exceptions)
29 Homeless HotlineThe Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has founded a National Call Center for Homeless Veterans hotline to ensure that homeless Veterans or Veterans at-risk for homelessness have free, 24/7 access to trained counselors.Homeless Veteran in need of help?Call AID VET ( )
30 Veterans Crisis LineThe Veterans Crisis Line connects Veterans in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring Department of Veterans Affairs responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat, or text.Veterans and their loved ones can call and Press 1, chat online, or send a text message to to receive confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.