TULSA, Okla. (Nov. 8, 2018) Last week the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced a nationwide decline in veteran homelessness of 5.4 percent in 2018 compared to last year. In Oklahoma the rate of veteran decreased by 10.3 percent.

The Housing Authority of the City of Tulsa (THA) participates in HUD’s Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program which enables veterans to choose their home via the Housing Choice Voucher rental assistance program while receiving case management and clinical services offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

There are currently 54 HUD-VASH program participants in Tulsa.

“The VASH program takes a holistic approach to supporting veterans, providing not only appropriate housing but also services to help them thrive,” said Terri Cole, vice president of rental assistance at THA. “We love working with our local veterans to help them find a home and get connected with resources.”

One such veteran is Walter Smith of Tulsa. After serving our country during two tours of duty Smith moved to Tulsa from Texas for a job opportunity. Only days after arriving in Tulsa the job opportunity fell through. This led to Smith’s eventually homelessness.

Smith met a fellow homeless veteran while living in a shelter who referred him to the BRRX4Vets program. He contacted the organization and was referred to the HUD-VASH program administered locally by THA. Smith moved into his new home in September 2017.

For information on the HUD-VASH program, visit https://www.tulsahousing.org/housing-options/vash-program/.