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Congresswoman Joyce Beatty

Representing the 3rd District of Ohio

Reps. Beatty, Stivers Lead Reintroduction of Legislation to Connect Veterans with Necessary Legal Resources

Jan 23, 2019
Press Release

Reps. Beatty, Stivers Lead Reintroduction of Legislation to Connect Veterans with Necessary Legal Resources

WASHINGTON, D.C.–Today, U.S Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (OH-03), joined by Congressman Steve Stivers (OH-15), reintroduced the Homeless Veterans Legal Services Act. Congressman Ted Lieu (CA-33) and Congressman Mike Turner (OH-10) are lead co-sponsors of the bill.

Under current law, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) is only authorized to fund legal services through the Supportive Services for Veterans Families (SSVF) program and the Grant Per Diem (GDP) program. A 2015 Community Homelessness Assessment, Local Education and Networking Groups Survey (Project CHALENG Survey) shows that legal assistance accounted for four of the top ten unmet needs for both male and female veterans, highlighting the drastic need to expand access to services. As a result, the Homeless Veterans Legal Service Act would allow the VA to partner with public and private entities to increase legal services for homeless veterans and those at risk of homelessness. 

“Providing expanded access to free, high-quality legal services is one way we can uphold the promises made to our nation’s veterans,” Beatty said. “This bill reaffirms that promise to those brave men and women who answered the call to serve in the Armed Forces, and I am proud to lead this effort in Congress.”

“Ensuring that veterans are able to access the services they need to move out of homelessness is a small piece of the larger commitment we must make to those who served our country,” Stivers said. “These men and women put their lives on the line for us, and to see any of them fall into homelessness is devastating, and I’m proud to partner with Representatives Beatty, Lieu, and Turner to address this critical shortcoming of legal assistance.”

“As a veteran myself, I find it upsetting that homelessness among veterans is even a thing. After their sacrifice and service to our country, the least we can do is put roofs over our veterans’ heads,” Lieu said. “While there are a host of factors that contribute to homelessness, a lack of access to legal resources shouldn’t be one of them. I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan bill to expand legal services for our veterans, along with Reps. Beatty, Stivers and Turner. We owe it to our vets to fight to protect them like they fought to protect us.”

“Homelessness is a real issue facing many who have served our country honorably, and we must do more to support these veterans,” Turner said. “As a previous cosponsor of this bill, I am proud to continue to support bolstering the resources available to our nation’s veterans.”

The Homeless Veterans Legal Services Act has been referred to the House Committee on Veterans Affairs where it awaits further consideration.