More than $5 million has been awarded to public housing agencies in California to supply permanent housing and case management for the state’s 2 million veterans, said Eric K. Shinseki, secretary of veterans affairs. The announcement was made recently.

“This initiative will strengthen our ongoing efforts to eliminate veteran homelessness by 2015 and improve quality of life for veterans,” Shinseki said.

“These additional vouchers are an essential part of our commitment towards helping our veterans improve their health, rebuild their relationships with family and friends, and secure independent living in the community,” said Donna M. Beiter, RN, MSN, director of the Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System.

The funding, from Housing and Urban Development’s Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program (HUD-VASH), is a coordinated effort by HUD, VA and local housing agencies to provide permanent housing for homeless veterans.

Homeless Veterans are referred to the public housing agencies for “Housing Choice” Section 8 vouchers to assist with rent payment. Eligible homeless veterans receive VA-provided case management and services to support stability and recovery from physical and mental health, substance use, and functional concerns contributing to or resulting from homelessness.

The Housing Authority of Los Angeles County will get 100 housing vouchers for $867,996; the Housing Authority of Los Angeles will get 200 vouchers for $1,851,912 and the Long Beach Housing Authority will get 50 vouchers for $457,788. The remainder will go to other areas throughout the state.

Veterans participating in the HUD-VASH program rent privately owned housing and generally contribute no more than 30 percent of their income toward rent. The VA offers eligible homeless veterans clinical and supportive services through its medical centers in Los Angeles and Long Beach.

More information about the VA’s homeless programs is available online at http://www.va.gov/homeless.