Homeless versus Refugees, do the refugees get free housing?
Do we as a country ignore homeless veterans over refugees? A homeless veteran can apply for assistance through many avenues, one is HUD and the VA. This collaborative program between HUD and VA combines HUD housing vouchers with VA supportive services to help Veterans who are homeless and their families find and sustain permanent housing. HUD provides rental assistance vouchers for privately owned housing to Veterans who are eligible for VA health care services and are experiencing homelessness. VA case managers may connect these Veterans with support services such as health care, mental health treatment and substance use counseling to help them in their recovery process and with maintaining housing in the community. There is no cost to the Veteran for these services and no expiration date. Yes, we can all agree the VA and HUD can be a time-consuming process. Therefore, the following 4 not for profit agencies are all 4-star rated support service organizations. These are Disabled American Veterans (DAV), United States Veterans Initiative (USVETS), National Coalition for Homeless Veterans (NCHV) and American Veterans (AMVETS).
Are refugees given housing? No, they are not even given a plane ticket. After the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence certify that each refugee to be resettled in the U.S. is no threat to national security (takes about 3 years of interviews, fact checks and research into their background as well as health testing). One of the nonprofit resettlement agencies (not the government, these are donated funds) receives the case of a particular individual or family, the International Organization for Migration coordinates their travel to the U.S. city where they will be resettled. The plane ticket is paid for at that time, but after they arrive and begin working, the refugees must pay back the cost of the ticket. Refugees don’t get long-term subsidized housing. Each refugee receives a stipend (donated) of about $1,000 to cover their first three months in the U.S. Before an individual or family arrives, the local not for profit resettlement organizations work to find a suitable apartment. They ensure the rent will be affordable and oversee distributing the stipend to cover the costs of rent for three months. They are not placed in special apartment blocks and do not receive special rates. After that they are on their own and expected to work. Where does the money come from? Nine national resettlement agencies process cases of refugees that have passed all the appropriate security checks. Those agencies include: Church World Service, Ethiopian Community Development Council, Episcopal Migration Ministries, the Hebrew Immigration Aid Society, International Rescue Committee, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops/Migration and Refugee Services, and World Relief. Six of these organizations are faith-based. Those nine organizations meet each week with the State Department to decide how refugees will be redistributed. Each agency accepts new cases based upon their organization capacity, taking into consideration budget and current caseload.