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Disaster Preparedness of Non-Profit Organizations Serving Homeless Veterans

Project Lead: June L. Gin, Ph.D.

Non-profit homeless service organizations constitute a safety net for homeless populations, both on a daily basis and during times of crises. Homeless Veterans may be particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of a disaster due to extreme poverty, lack of housing and other resources, and chronic health conditions.

Ensuring that homeless service organizations, such as those providing shelter and supportive and transitional housing, are prepared for a disaster and able to continue serving their clients is critical to the well-being and safety of homeless Veterans.

This project examines the disaster preparedness of non-profit housing provider organizations for the homeless. The studied organizations include those that serve:

  • VA Grant and Per Diem recipients (funded by VA to provide supportive and transitional housing to homeless Veterans)
  • Both Veterans and the general homeless population

The project focuses on three aspects of organizational preparedness:

  • Life safety
  • Continuity of service operations
  • Collaboration and partnerships

Findings and importance

This study will identify gaps in preparedness for these organizations and inform efforts to improve disaster resilience among homeless housing organizations.

The resulting toolkit will focus on how technical assistance, training, and partnership can:

  • Increase collaboration between non-profit organizations and government entities
  • Help strengthen this vital safety net for homeless Veterans during and after disasters