CASTRO, COFFMAN, DENHAM INTRODUCE BIPARTISAN LEGISLATION SUPPORTING WOMEN VETERANS
Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, Congressmen Joaquin Castro (D-TX-20), Mike Coffman (R-CO-06), and Jeff Denham (R-CA-10) introduced legislation aimed at reducing the number of women veterans who are homeless in America. The Reduce Homelessness for Female Veterans Act requires the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to direct a contractor to conduct a survey focused on homeless female veterans. Currently, neither HUD nor the VA collects specialized data on homeless women veterans.
“Despite the fact that female veterans are four times more likely than civilians to experience homelessness, the federal government lacks much of the information needed to assist this vulnerable group,” said Rep. Castro. “To best help these brave women, we need to better understand their circumstances. The survey this legislation requires will allow HUD and the VA to make educated policy recommendations to Congress aimed at reducing the number of female veterans without roofs over their heads. We must not turn our backs on veterans who sacrificed so much for our nation. This bill honors their service and seeks to meaningfully improve their lives by increasing their opportunities for success as civilians.”
“I’m proud to co-sponsor this important legislation,” said Rep. Mike Coffman. “We must do everything we can to support our female veterans in need. Seeing these brave women who served our country so honorably now living on the street is an abomination. We have a veterans homelessness center in my district which specializes in assisting women veterans, but we can do more and I believe this bill will provide us with the information and feedback we need to develop effective solutions and assistance.”
“Our female veterans represent a widely underserved population, which is part of why so many unfortunately find themselves homeless,” said Rep. Denham. “Given their invaluable contributions and dedication to our country, we owe them nothing less than the very best services, healthcare and assistance available upon their return to civilian life. This legislation will ensure that we have the information we need to care for these valued veterans.”
The Reduce Homelessness for Female Veterans Act survey would collect: demographic data, such as age, race, marital status, and educational attainment; years of military service; any service-related disability; number of children (if any); years of homelessness; the nature and extent of the individual’s experience with the VA and HUD; and employment status.
No later than 90 days after receiving the survey’s results, the Secretaries of the VA and HUD must submit to the committees of jurisdiction in Congress a report on the exercise’s findings that contains recommendations to reduce homelessness among female veterans.