Senator Jon Tester announced today (11-18-11) that more help is on the way for homeless veterans in Montana and across the nation. The Senate late Thursday voted to add 11,000 new housing vouchers to the popular Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) program.  The initiative works with local housing and support groups to provide eligible homeless veterans with services that aid recovery from physical and mental health conditions resulting from homelessness. To be eligible for a housing voucher, veterans must qualify for VA Health Care, they must be homeless and must participate in case management services in order to receive permanent independent community housing.

The Senate’s legislation on Thursday, part of a combined appropriations bill, brings the initiative’s budget to $75 million – an increase of 50%.  In February, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to eliminate the housing initiative, but the proposal was rejected by the Senate.