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Archived News Article: Information may be out of date
December 2, 2015
Help the Homeless this Holiday Season
This holiday season, nearly 600,000 Americans will spend the holidays homeless and without proper shelter or food. The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) and affiliated government organizations are standing together to help end homelessness and you, too, can commit to being part of the solution.
In a time of giving, helping others, and spreading holiday spirit, Benefits.gov has resources available to help our fellow citizens in need. Take time to review the various benefit programs and resources within the following categories and share them with individuals and families in need:
For those in need of shelter, the following benefit programs may be of assistance to you:
Youth between the ages of 16 and 22 can apply for the Transitional Living Program for Homeless Youth, which provides stable and safe living accommodations for up to 21 months. This program also provides services to help young people develop the skills necessary to move toward independence and life as healthy, productive adults by working with more than 191 community based residential centers across the U.S.
Those experiencing or at risk of homelessness may qualify for the following food assistance programs:
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), managed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is the largest national food assistance program. SNAP works with state agencies, nutrition educators, and neighborhood and faith-based organizations to ensure that individuals eligible for nutrition assistance can access available benefits. To learn more, visit the SNAP Program page.
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Woman, Infants, and Children (WIC). Through WIC, pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum women, along with infants and children up to age five, receive supplemental foods, nutrition education, referrals, and access to health and social services at no cost. To learn more, visit the WIC Program page.
You can also find local food banks that provide food and nutrition to individuals and families in need by visiting FeedingAmerica.org. Often, local shelters and food banks are looking for volunteers over the holidays.
The Homeless Veterans Programs help veterans return to employment, find safe housing, and provide health care and mental health services. To learn more, visit the Homeless Veterans Programs page.
VA also offers a wealth of homeless veterans’ programs through the Homeless Veterans Assistance Center that offer residential rehabilitation, grants and per diems, substance abuse treatment, mental health treatment and other residence programs all catered to helping our veterans.
Homelessness is an issue that affects hundreds of thousands of Americans today. In order to see real change, America must work together and act toward ending homelessness. You can start by educating yourself on the issue, volunteering in your community, and sharing these resources with a friend or stranger this holiday season.
For more information on benefits you may be eligible to receive, we encourage you to visit Benefits.gov and complete the Benefit Finder questionnaire.