ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ) — The James E Van Zandt VA Medical Center is encouraging local landlords to advocate and help however they can with homeless veterans in the 14-county area.

The center is hoping to encourage local landlords to reach out and partner with its homeless veteran program which provides rental subsidies and landlord support for more than 80 veterans and their families.

This comes in response to the ongoing housing crisis as rent has been increasing as well as inflation having a strong hold on the economy.

“It’s important that communities nationwide work together to keep our Veterans in safe and stable homes,” said Beth Farabaugh, Homeless Coordinator/Social Worker.

“Our mission is to help all Veterans within our 14-county catchment area and in this program, we would be able to help Veterans get back on their feet,” Farabaugh continued.

Here are some of the benefits of renting to homeless veterans, according to the center:

  • VA provides services to Veterans placed in permanent housing to support their housing stability.
  • Reliable income from subsidies where a portion of the rent is automatically paid on time to landlords by a public housing authority or a VA grantee.
  • Support from VA case management to connect landlords and Veterans with help they may need. Making a positive impact in changing a Veteran’s life.

Over the past several years, James E. Van Zandt said they have successfully housed over 1,878 Veterans in its community through VA permanent housing programs.

The VA has established a nationwide goal to house 38,000 homeless Veterans during the 2022 calendar year.

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Altoona and surrounding community property owners interested in helping Veterans can reach out to Beth Farabaugh at Bethany.Farabaugh@va.gov 814-943-8164, ext.18526 for more information.