For a listing of benefits and resources, if you’re veteran experiencing unemployment, housing instability, addiction or homelessness, or have a loved one who is, click here. The Call Center for Homeless Vets can be reached by dialing 1-877-424-3838

For military veteran Bill Hairston, who spent a decade on the streets battling addiction, the VA provided him the boost he needed to get back on his feet.

Upon leaving the service, Hairston was unable to find a job. He soon found himself homeless and vulnerable to the dangerous world of drugs and alcohol that surrounded him. Finally, in 1999, he decided to seek out help. A trip to a nearby church turned into a trip to the VA, where he was enrolled in an alcohol treatment program. The result was the return of not only his sobriety, but his pride.

Hairston’s story emphasizes the importance and availability of the following resources for homeless or unemployed veterans.

Know What You Need

In a guide published by the National Coalition of Homeless Veterans, it’s recommended that any veteran who is struggling with housing or employment know exactly what their needs are before going to the VA.

For instance, they suggest making a list of the services you are lacking and what you’re goals are once you get assistance.

A sample list might look like this:

  1. I need a place to live today.
  2. I need a job.
  3. I need clothing to wear to work.
  4. I want to get counseling for PTSD.
  5. I owe child support.
  6. I need to find out what federal benefits I can get as a veteran.

What to Do Next

Find temporary/emergency housing.

Local Homeless Assistance: The U.S Department of Urban and Housing Development has a list of local homeless shelters and housing options by state.

NCHV Directory: The NCHV provides a list of shelters, food banks, and legal aid to help homeless veterans find relief.

Go to a VA office/Vet site.

Health Needs and Conditions Directory: Find the need or condition on this navigable website, then click on the links to access the benefit or resource that corresponds.

Community Resource and Referral Centers: The VA has a list of centers where homeless veterans can access permanent housing, health care, career development and access veteran benefits.

Other resources, like legal help, financial assistance, and counseling.

VA Programs for Homeless Veterans: Here is a compilation of VA-sponsored programs that can help homeless vets find housing, employment, healthcare, and justice services.

NCHV Step-by-Step Guide: This comprehensive guides provides information about accessing financial aid, legal assistance, healthcare, and housing.