WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), a senior member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, and U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (OH-9) introduced the State Veterans Home Homelessness Act, legislation which would keep Northwest Ohio veterans off the street and give them the resources to get back on their feet. The bill would benefit the Ohio State Veterans Home in Sandusky by making it and other state veterans homes eligible for Veterans Affairs (VA) homelessness grants. Despite the high need of local veterans and available beds in the Sandusky home, VA homelessness grants are not currently available to state veterans homes.

“Northwest Ohio Veterans who have served their country in order to protect our freedoms should never face homelessness,” Brown said. “The State Veterans Home Homelessness Act would help Ohio’s homeless veterans by connecting the Ohio Veterans Home with resources that combat veteran homelessness.”

“Sen. Brown and I want to position the Ohio State Veterans Home to continue its great work. We appreciate what a tremendous asset it is to the community,” Kaptur said. “Locally and nationally, we must meet our obligations to the veterans. No veteran in America should be homeless.”

Current Federal law permits state veterans homes to work under three authorized programs: VA Nursing Home Care, VA Adult Day Health Care, and VA Domiciliary. Because state veterans homes are not permitted to receive other federal funds, they are not eligible for grants under the VA pilot program, Health Care for Homeless Veterans Program (HCHV). There are still too many veterans who are homeless, however, and many state veterans homes have available space that could support them. The State Veterans Home Homelessness Act would fix this problem by expanding to state veterans homes eligibility for federal funds used to combat veteran homelessness.

The Ohio State Veterans Home is a 427 bed nursing home facility that has operated continuously for more than 135 years. It opened in 1888 in order to care for veterans of the American Civil War and currently offers standard care and care for veterans with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.