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VA launches mobile medical units to increase access to health care for homeless Veterans

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WASHINGTON — The Department of Veterans Affairs announced that it will deploy 25 mobile medical units across the country during the next six months to provide health care and support to homeless and at-risk Veterans. The first MMU arrived today at the VA Orlando Healthcare System, and the full deployment schedule for upcoming MMUs can be viewed here.

Mobile medical units are vans or trucks that move from one location to another to provide a private space for eligible Veterans to meet with medical providers, including mental health clinicians, social workers, and other staff that provide primary care, women’s health, audiology, laboratory, and telehealth services to those who may not have access to a local VA medical center.

Ending Veteran homelessness is a top priority for VA, and President Biden has made supporting Veterans a key pillar of his Unity Agenda for the nation. In 2022 alone, VA housed more than 40,000 formerly homeless Veterans, prevented more than 17,700 Veterans and their families from falling into homelessness, and helped nearly 191,700 additional Veteran families who were experiencing financial difficulties retain their homes or avoid foreclosure. Thanks in part to these efforts, the number of Veterans experiencing homelessness has fallen by 11% since early 2020 and by more than 55% since 2010. In 2023, VA has set a goal to house at least 38,000 Veterans.

“Veterans experiencing homelessness face a variety of barriers to accessing health care, including a lack of transportation,” said VA Secretary Denis McDonough. “With these new mobile medical units, homeless and at-risk Veterans don’t have to visit VA hospitals — we come right to them.”

This announcement builds on sweeping new investments to address Veteran homelessness announced by the White House in June.

VA’s efforts to end Veteran homelessness are built upon the evidence-based “Housing First” approach, which prioritizes first getting a Veteran into housing and then providing them with the wraparound support they need to stay housed, including health care, job training, legal and education assistance, and more.

These MMUs have been made available through VA’s Homeless Patient Aligned Care Teams, whose mission is to address the unique needs and distinct challenges homeless Veterans face both accessing and engaging in health care. In addition to MMUs, VA already has 83 Mobile Vet Centers around the country to provide confidential counseling and outreach to eligible individuals in communities that are distant or remote from existing services. 

If you are a Veteran who is experiencing homelessness or at risk for homelessness, call the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans at 877-4AID-VET (877-424-3838). Visit the VA Homeless Programs website to learn about housing initiatives and other programs for Veterans exiting homelessness

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