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Although permanent, stable housing is the benchmark of efforts to end homelessness among Veterans, housing alone may not be enough to mitigate a current episode of homelessness. Employment is a key element in helping Veterans climb out of homelessness permanently or avoid it all together. For homeless, chronically homeless and at-risk Veterans, employment can provide an improved quality of life, increased self-confidence and independence, a decreased reliance on institutional care, improved community integration, and opportunities for socialization.  Without employment, Veterans may lack access to resources that help in obtaining and sustaining stable housing.

The Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) recognizes that employment is critical to helping prevent and eliminate Veteran homelessness and is working to provide expanded employment opportunities and a full range of employment services to all homeless, chronically homeless and at-risk Veterans.

HVCES’s Community Employment Coordinator (CEC) is a member of the Homeless Veterans Program team and leads efforts to establish a local employment collective.  CECs work closely with VA programs such as Compensated Work Therapy (CWT), non-VA programs such as Department of Labor grantees, local community and faith-based organizations, and community-based employers.

The CECs also collaborate with VA and non-VA partners to identify local gaps in current competitive employment services for homeless Veterans, and welcome opportunities to engage with community partners and local employers who are also committed to ending and preventing homelessness among Veterans.

Community Employment Coordinators (CECs) for homeless Veterans are available at more than 140 VA Medical Centers (VAMC) to assist employers with hiring Veterans.

Additionally, many VAMCs have Employment Specialists embedded within their Healthcare for Homeless Veterans (HCHV) and/or U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) programs who are providing direct employment services.

With the implementation of the HVCES program and the help of CECs, VA hopes to help homeless, chronically homeless and at-risk Veterans find employment opportunities and ultimately secure stable housing.

Find contact information for the CEC at your local VAMC. (

Go to, click on the “Looking for People” tab, then view “Veterans Solutions” to see more for information on our Veterans Solutions for Employers. Please join our LinkedIn group, Veterans Hiring Solutions for Veterans at If you have specific questions about hiring veterans or the incentives for doing so, contact me at  [email protected].