When the VA eventually gets around to administering the COVID vaccine to vets that are non employees or living in one of their facilities, one challenge will present itself with a group of particularly embattled group of men and women who served out country.
I’m talking about our homeless veterans struggling in our communities.
The specific challenge will be finding them in order to actually administer the vaccine.
Many homeless vets gave up on the VA years ago because they were unable to get care. But if the Department Of Veterans Affairs wants to ensure that all veterans are receiving the medicine, they will have to seek these veterans out.
They will have to visit the makeshift campgrounds along the tree lines of busy interstates, where large groups of them reside. They will have to go into the shelters and interview their populations to find out which of their residents are eligible. And they might have to call emergency contacts of what information they have left on them to try and find out where they are.
And sadly, in many cases they’ll have to work with an individual experiencing some degree of mental illness.
The good news is that there is a template for this kind of approach. It’s the one used when organizations try to find deliver housing solutions to this group.
The truth is that the biggest challenge may be the resolve of the groups making these attempts. Many of them have fallen through the cracks of so may other programs, that a lot of time the VA and other groups won’t make serious attempts to help them.
That needs to stop here. Especially, if we’re being serious about containing this virus and saving lives in the process.
It won’t be easy but it must be done.