Sen. Moran introduces bill to improve services for homeless veterans in Kansas

Published: Nov. 6, 2021 at 12:36 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Legislation that aims to improve services for homeless veterans in Kansas and across the nation has been introduced by Senator Jerry Moran.

U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) says he joined Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) and U.S. Representatives Tracey Mann (KS-01) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) to introduce bipartisan, bicameral legislation to expand the Department of Labor Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program to every state and U.S. territory.

Moran said the HVRP program offers customized employment and training services to homeless or at-risk-of-homelessness veterans to address barriers to employment. He said services include occupational, classroom and on-the-job training, as well as job search, placement assistance and post-placement follow-up services.

“Our nation’s veterans who are at risk or currently dealing with homelessness deserve access to employment training no matter which state they reside in,” said Sen. Moran, ranking member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. “As we continue our work to drive down the veteran unemployment rate, I introduced the Reaching Every Homeless Veteran Act to make certain veterans living in every state and territory have access to the specialized employment services supported by the Homeless Veteran Reintegration Program. Thank you to my colleagues Sen. Manchin, Rep. Mann and Rep. Pappas for working across the aisle to lead in this effort.”

Currently, Moran said not all states have organizations that will receive HVRP grants during the FY2021 cycle, including Kansas, Alaska, Nebraska, Utah, Vermont and West Virginia. He said the Reaching Every Homeless Veteran Act of 2021 would require the DOL to ensure HVRP grants are awarded to every state and territory while also maintaining high-quality application criteria standards.

“Too many of our veterans face the heartbreaking effects of housing insecurity and don’t have access to resources to help them – especially those in more rural areas, like most of my district in western Kansas,” said Rep. Mann. “The Reaching Every Homeless Veteran Act of 2021 will expand grant funding to underserved areas of the country, giving more veterans access to employment services and other resources to combat homelessness. I’m proud to join my Kansas colleague, Senator Jerry Moran, Congressman Chris Pappas (D-NH), and Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) in this bipartisan, bicameral effort to support our nation’s heroes.”

In cases where a state or territory is without eligible applicants, Moran said the DOL would be mandated to coordinate an outreach and education program with the state Director of Veterans’ Employment and Training to increase awareness about HVRP and the program’s benefits.

Moran said the legislation would also implement reporting requirements for the DOL on the HVRP application and selection process, which would provide Congress with necessary data to decide future statutory or funding changes.

“No one who has served our country should ever find themselves without a place to call home,” said Rep. Pappas. “Expanding Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program grants to states that are currently unserved by this program is the right thing to do for our veterans across the country, and for veterans in New Hampshire who rely not just on state resources but on those from our neighboring state of Vermont as well.”

Moran said the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans has applauded the effort to improve employment services offered to homeless veterans and help them reach their full potential in the workforce.

“Employment services for homeless and recently homeless veterans are crucial to maintain an avenue out of housing insecurity,” said Kathryn Monet, CEO National Coalition for Homeless Veterans. “The Reaching Every Homeless Veteran Act of 2021 will expand the reach of the Department of Labor’s Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program to areas of the country not currently serviced. NCHV applauds SVAC Ranking Member Jerry Moran and Senator Joe Manchin for leading this bill in the Senate, as well as Representatives Tracey Mann of Kansas and Chris Pappas of New Hampshire for leading the U.S. House of Representatives companion.”

The legislation is co-sponsored by Sens. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii).

To read the full text of the legislation, click HERE.

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