October 28, 2021
Manchin, Capito Bill To Expand Employment Program For West Virginia Veterans Experiencing Homelessness
Washington, DC – U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), today introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation to expand the Department of Labor (DOL) Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP) to all 50 states and U.S. territories. The HVRP program offers job training services to Veterans experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness.
Currently, no organization in West Virginia is receiving HVRP funding and in the past four years, only one organization has applied for the program. The Reaching Every Homeless Veteran Act of 2021 would require the DOL to examine why several rural states are not receiving funding and provide community outreach to increase awareness and encourage applications.
“Our brave Veterans served our country with honor and no matter what state they live in, they should have the same opportunities for support programs like the Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program (HVRP). This critical program helps Veterans experiencing homelessness get back on their feet and find steady, good-paying jobs. Several rural states, including West Virginia, have not been awarded funds for HVRP programs. This is worrisome, and I encourage my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support our commonsense legislation to require the Department of Labor to investigate these inconsistencies. As a member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, I’m committed to addressing Veteran homelessness and supporting those who defended our great nation,” said Senator Manchin.
“Our veterans have sacrificed so much so we are able to enjoy the freedoms we have today. There is no reason West Virginia entities wanting to assist our homeless veterans should be excluded from participating in the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program, without a viable explanation for their denial. Federal agencies need to be held accountable for the backlog of information that restricts entities back home from receiving necessary resources our residents rely on. This legislation helps address those issues, holds government accountable, and will contribute to our goal of ending veteran homelessness in West Virginia,” Senator Capito said.
"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 Re-integration 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 Reaching Every Homeless Veteran Act of 2021 would require the DOL to investigate and provide comprehensive reports to Congress on the why certain states, including West Virginia, are not receiving HVRP funding, while still ensuring the same high-quality application criteria standards. In instances where a state or territory is without eligible applicants, the DOL would be mandated to coordinate an outreach and education program in coordination with the state Director of Veterans' Employment and Training to increase awareness around HVRP and the benefits of the program.
The HVRP program offers customized employment and training services to Veterans experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness to address their specific barriers to employment. Services may include occupational, classroom and on-the-job training, as well as job search, placement assistance and post-placement follow-up services.
Senators Manchin and Capito were joined by U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-KS), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Roger Marshall (R-KS) and Mazie Hirono (D-HI). U.S. Representatives Tracey Mans (KS-01) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) introduced a companion legislation in the House of Representatives.
Bill text can be found here.
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