How It Works

Problem Statement

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) states that the nation’s homeless veterans are predominantly male, with roughly 9% being female. The majority is single; live in urban areas; and suffer from mental illness, alcohol and/or substance abuse, or co-occurring disorders. About 11% of the adult homeless populations are veterans.

Roughly 45% of all homeless veterans are African American or Hispanic, despite only accounting for 10.4% and 3.4% of the U.S. veteran population, respectively.

Homeless veterans are younger on average than the total veteran population. Approximately 9% are between the ages of 18 and 30, and 41% are between the ages of 31 and 50. Conversely, only 5% of all veterans are between the ages of 18 and 30, and less than 23% are between 31 and 50.

About 1.4 million other veterans, meanwhile, are considered at risk of homelessness due to poverty, lack of support networks, and dismal living conditions in overcrowded or substandard housing.

In addition to the complex set of factors influencing all homelessness – extreme shortage of affordable housing, livable income and access to health care – a large number of displaced and at-risk veterans live with lingering effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance abuse, which are compounded by a lack of family and social support networks. Additionally, military occupations and training are not always transferable to the civilian workforce, placing some veterans at a disadvantage when competing for employment.

Homelessness is a widespread societal issue that affects people in every community across the globe. It has been a problem since man first began to live in houses and will remain so until all people have access to affordable housing.

In 2015, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Annual Homelessness Assessment Report (AHAR) reported that there were 564,708 homeless people in the United States. According to the 2014 Annual Homeless Assessment Report, a staggering 41,000 individuals suffer from homelessness in Virginia each day – including children and families.

Between 2016 and 2017, the number of veterans experiencing homelessness increased for the first time since 2010.

On one day and one night in January 2017, Virginia communities identified 32,109 persons who were living on the streets, in the woods, or in emergency shelters. Those numbers included 2,789 homeless veterans, 9,363 persons in homeless families, and 5,120 chronically homeless and disabled persons. And many of these homeless remain unsheltered. The most recent Point In Time (PIT) Count report shows a staggering 31 percent who were unsheltered nationally in 2014.

By providing veterans and their families with affordable housing programs, veterans can live stable and secure lives. Haven for Hero’s is working to address the above needs via the provision of high-quality services to veterans and their families in the community. The organization seeks to squash the negative tendencies by offering cost-effective, life-enhancing opportunities to those in need.


Haven for Hero’s is committed to playing an active role in building a stronger future for homeless veterans and their families requiring assistance with shelter. Staying true to our mission and vision, being intentional with the individuals we serve, building on solid program practices, and evolving with the changing economy and population, our organization will provide quality services to every veteran in need.

Our specific objectives were developed with input from the board of directors as well as other constituents. Our plans set aggressive, yet realistic goals for completion of the project. In support of our main goal, the organization holds these values and beliefs:

  • To serve veterans with respect, hospitality, and dignity.
  • To support the veterans we serve without judgment.
  • To believe in the potential of all veterans and their right to self-determination.
  • To reinforce positive behavior.
  • To obtain homeownership
  • To build long-standing partnerships with other organizations in the community that shares the same vision.
  • To value the diversity of our guests, staff, board, and volunteers through a model of inclusivity.
  • To believe that the community is strengthened when it cares for those with the fewest resources

The impact of meeting each of the aforementioned goals is that more individuals are served with higher quality programs yielding better, long-term benefits for our communities.

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