[Congressional Record (Bound Edition), Volume 147 (2001), Part 14]
[House]
[Pages 19888-19897]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov]



 STUART COLLICK--HEATHER FRENCH HENRY HOMELESS VETERANS ASSISTANCE ACT

  Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and 
pass the bill (H.R. 2716) to amend title 38, United States Code, to 
revise, improve, and consolidate provisions of law providing benefits 
and services for homeless veterans, as amended.
  The Clerk read as follows:

                               H.R. 2716

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS; REFERENCES TO 
                   TITLE 38, UNITED STATES CODE.

       (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Stuart 
     Collick--Heather French Henry Homeless Veterans Assistance 
     Act''.
       (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents of this Act 
     is as follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents; references to title 38, United 
              States Code.
Sec. 2. Definitions.
Sec. 3. National goal to end homelessness among veterans.
Sec. 4. Sense of the Congress regarding the needs of homeless veterans 
              and the responsibility of Federal agencies.
Sec. 5. Consolidation and improvement of provisions of law relating to 
              homeless veterans.
Sec. 6. Evaluation of homeless programs.
Sec. 7. Study of outcome effectiveness of grant program for homeless 
              veterans with special needs.
Sec. 8. Additional programmatic expansions.
Sec. 9. Coordination of employment services.
Sec. 10. Use of real property.
Sec. 11. Meetings of Interagency Council on Homeless.
Sec. 12. Rental assistance vouchers for HUD Veterans Affairs Supported 
              Housing program.
       (c) References to Title 38 United States Code.--Except as 
     otherwise expressly provided, whenever in this Act an 
     amendment or repeal is expressed in terms of an amendment to, 
     or repeal of, a section or other provision, the reference 
     shall be considered to be made to a section or other 
     provision of title 38, United States Code.

     SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

       For purposes of this Act:
       (1) The term ``homeless veteran'' has the meaning given 
     such term in section 2002 of title 38, United States Code, as 
     added by section 5(a)(1).
       (2) The term ``grant and per diem provider'' means an 
     entity in receipt of a grant under section 2011 or 2012 of 
     title 38, United States Code.

     SEC. 3. NATIONAL GOAL TO END HOMELESSNESS AMONG VETERANS.

       (a) National Goal.--Congress hereby declares it to be a 
     national goal to end chronic homelessness among veterans 
     within a decade of the enactment of this Act.
       (b) Cooperative Efforts Encouraged.--Congress hereby 
     encourages all departments and agencies of Federal, State, 
     and local governments, quasi-governmental organizations, 
     private and public sector entities, including community-based 
     organizations, faith-based organizations, and individuals to 
     work cooperatively to end chronic homelessness among veterans 
     within a decade.

     SEC. 4. SENSE OF THE CONGRESS REGARDING THE NEEDS OF HOMELESS 
                   VETERANS AND THE RESPONSIBILITY OF FEDERAL 
                   AGENCIES.

       It is the sense of the Congress that--
       (1) homelessness is a significant problem in the veterans 
     community and veterans are

[[Page 19889]]

     disproportionately represented among homeless men;
       (2) While many effective programs assist homeless veterans 
     to again become productive and self-sufficient members of 
     society, current resources provided to such programs and 
     other activities that assist homeless veterans are inadequate 
     to provide all needed essential services, assistance, and 
     support to homeless veterans;
       (3) the most effective programs for the assistance of 
     homeless veterans should be identified and expanded;
       (4) federally funded programs for homeless veterans should 
     be held accountable for achieving clearly defined results;
       (5) Federal efforts to assist homeless veterans should 
     include prevention of homelessness; and
       (6) Federal agencies, particularly the Department of 
     Veterans Affairs and the Department of Housing and Urban 
     Development, should cooperate more fully to address the 
     problem of homelessness among veterans.

     SEC. 5. CONSOLIDATION AND IMPROVEMENT OF PROVISIONS OF LAW 
                   RELATING TO HOMELESS VETERANS.

       (a) In General.--(1) Part II is amended by inserting after 
     chapter 19 the following new chapter:

              ``CHAPTER 20--BENEFITS FOR HOMELESS VETERANS

      ``subchapter i--purpose; definitions; administrative matters

``Sec.
``2001. Purpose.
``2002. Definitions.
``2003. Staffing requirements.
``2004. Employment assistance.

            ``subchapter ii--comprehensive service programs

``2011. Grants.
``2012. Per diem payments.
``2013. Authorization of appropriations.

                ``subchapter iii--training and outreach

``2021. Homeless veterans' reintegration programs.
``2022. Coordination of outreach services for veterans at risk of 
              homelessness.
``2023. Demonstration program relating to referral and counseling for 
              veterans transitioning from certain institutions who are 
              at risk for homelessness.

 ``subchapter iv--treatment and rehabilitation for seriously mentally 
                       ill and homeless veterans

``2031. General treatment.
``2032. Therapeutic housing.
``2033. Additional services at certain locations.
``2034. Coordination with other agencies and organizations.

                   ``subchapter v--housing assistance

``2041. Housing assistance for homeless veterans.
``2042. Supported housing for veterans participating in compensated 
              work therapies.
``2043. Domiciliary care programs.

  ``subchapter vi--loan guarantee for multifamily transitional housing

``2051. General authority.
``2052. Requirements.
``2053. Default.
``2054. Audit.

                   ``subchapter vii--other provisions

``2061. Grant program for homeless veterans with special needs.
``2062. Dental care.
``2063. Technical assistance grants for nonprofit community-based 
              groups.
``2064. Annual report on assistance to homeless veterans.
``2065. Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans.

      ``SUBCHAPTER I--PURPOSE; DEFINITIONS; ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS

     ``Sec. 2001. Purpose

       ``The purpose of this chapter is to provide for the special 
     needs of homeless veterans.

     ``Sec. 2002. Definitions

       ``In this chapter:
       ``(1) The term `homeless veteran' means a veteran who--
       ``(A) lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime 
     residence; or
       ``(B) has a primary nighttime residence that is--
       ``(i) a supervised publicly or privately operated shelter 
     designed to provide temporary living accommodations 
     (including welfare hotels, congregate shelters, grant per 
     diem shelters and transitional housing for the mentally ill);
       ``(ii) an institution that provides a temporary residence 
     for individuals intended to be institutionalized; or
       ``(iii) a public or private place not designed for, or 
     ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for 
     human beings.
       ``(2) The term `grant and per diem provider' means an 
     entity in receipt of a grant under section 2011 or 2012 of 
     this title.

     ``Sec. 2003. Staffing requirements

       ``(a) VBA Staffing at Regional Offices.--The Secretary 
     shall ensure that there is assigned at each Veterans Benefits 
     Administration regional office at least one employee assigned 
     specifically to oversee and coordinate homeless veterans 
     programs in that region. In any such regional office with at 
     least 140 employees, there shall be at least one full-time 
     employee assigned to such functions. The programs covered by 
     such oversight and coordination include the following:
       ``(1) The housing program for veterans supported by the 
     Department of Housing and Urban Development.
       ``(2) Housing programs supported by the Secretary under 
     this title or any other provision of law.
       ``(3) The homeless veterans reintegration program of the 
     Department of Labor under section 2021 of this title.
       ``(4) The programs under section 2033 of this title.
       ``(5) The assessments required by section 2034 of this 
     title.
       ``(6) Such other duties relating to homeless veterans as 
     may be assigned.
       ``(b) VHA Case Managers.--The Secretary shall ensure that 
     the number of case managers in the Veterans Health 
     Administration is sufficient to assure that every veteran who 
     is provided a housing voucher through section 8(o) of the 
     United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f(o)) is 
     assigned to, and is able to be seen as needed by, a case 
     manager.

     ``Sec. 2004. Employment assistance

       ``The Secretary may authorize homeless veterans receiving 
     care through vocational rehabilitation programs to 
     participate in the compensated work therapy program under 
     section 1718 of this title.

            ``SUBCHAPTER II--COMPREHENSIVE SERVICE PROGRAMS

     ``Sec. 2011. Grants

       ``(a) Authority To Make Grants.--(1) Subject to the 
     availability of appropriations provided for such purpose, the 
     Secretary shall make grants to assist eligible entities in 
     establishing programs to furnish, and expanding or modifying 
     existing programs for furnishing, the following to homeless 
     veterans:
       ``(A) Outreach.
       ``(B) Rehabilitative services.
       ``(C) Vocational counseling and training.
       ``(D) Transitional housing assistance.
       ``(2) The authority of the Secretary to make grants under 
     this section expires on September 30, 2005.
       ``(b) Criteria for Award of Grants.--The Secretary shall 
     establish criteria and requirements for the award of a grant 
     under this section, including criteria for entities eligible 
     to receive such grants, and shall publish such criteria and 
     requirements in the Federal Register. The criteria 
     established under this section shall include the following:
       ``(1) Specification as to the kinds of projects for which 
     such grant support is available, which shall include--
       ``(A) expansion, remodeling, or alteration of existing 
     buildings, or acquisition of facilities, for use as service 
     centers, transitional housing, or other facilities to serve 
     homeless veterans; and
       ``(B) procurement of vans for use in outreach to, and 
     transportation for, homeless veterans to carry out the 
     purposes set forth in subsection (a).
       ``(2) Specification as to the number of projects for which 
     grant support is available.
       ``(3) Appropriate criteria for the staffing for the 
     provision of the services for which a grant under this 
     section is furnished.
       ``(4) Provisions to ensure that the award of grants under 
     this section--
       ``(A) shall not result in duplication of ongoing services; 
     and
       ``(B) to the maximum extent practicable, shall reflect 
     appropriate geographic dispersion and an appropriate balance 
     between urban and nonurban locations.
       ``(5) Provisions to ensure that an entity receiving a grant 
     shall meet fire and safety requirements established by the 
     Secretary, which shall include--
       ``(A) such State and community requirements that may apply; 
     and
       ``(B) the fire and safety requirements applicable under the 
     Life Safety Code of the National Fire Protection Association.
       ``(6) Specifications as to the means by which an entity 
     receiving a grant may contribute in-kind services to the 
     start-up costs of any project for which support is sought and 
     the methodology for assigning a cost to that contribution for 
     purposes of subsection (c).
       ``(c) Funding Limitations.--A grant under this section may 
     not be used to support operational costs. The amount of a 
     grant under this section may not exceed 65 percent of the 
     estimated cost of the expansion, remodeling, alteration, 
     acquisition, or procurement provided for under this section.
       ``(d) Eligible Entities.--The Secretary may make a grant 
     under this section to an entity applying for such a grant 
     only if the applicant for the grant--
       ``(1) is a public or nonprofit private entity with the 
     capacity (as determined by the Secretary) to effectively 
     administer a grant under this section;
       ``(2) has demonstrated that adequate financial support will 
     be available to carry out the project for which the grant has 
     been sought consistent with the plans, specifications, and 
     schedule submitted by the applicant; and
       ``(3) has agreed to meet the applicable criteria and 
     requirements established under

[[Page 19890]]

     subsections (b) and (g) (and the Secretary has determined 
     that the applicant has demonstrated the capacity to meet 
     those criteria and requirements).
       ``(e) Application Requirement.--An entity described in 
     subsection (d) desiring to receive assistance under this 
     section shall submit to the Secretary an application. The 
     application shall set forth the following:
       ``(1) The amount of the grant requested with respect to a 
     project.
       ``(2) A description of the site for such project.
       ``(3) Plans, specifications, and the schedule for 
     implementation of such project in accordance with 
     requirements prescribed by the Secretary under subsection 
     (b).
       ``(4) Reasonable assurance that upon completion of the work 
     for which assistance is sought, the program will become 
     operational and the facilities will be used principally to 
     provide to veterans the services for which the project was 
     designed, and that not more than 25 percent of the services 
     provided will serve clients who are not receiving such 
     services as veterans.
       ``(f) Program Requirements.--The Secretary may not make a 
     grant to an applicant under this section unless the 
     applicant, in the application for the grant, agrees to each 
     of the following requirements:
       ``(1) To provide the services for which the grant is 
     furnished at locations accessible to homeless veterans.
       ``(2) To maintain referral networks for, and aid homeless 
     veterans in, establishing eligibility for assistance, and 
     obtaining services, under available entitlement and 
     assistance programs.
       ``(3) To ensure the confidentiality of records maintained 
     on homeless veterans receiving services under the grant.
       ``(4) To establish such procedures for fiscal control and 
     fund accounting as may be necessary to ensure proper 
     disbursement and accounting with respect to the grant and to 
     such payments as may be made under section 2012 of this 
     title.
       ``(5) To seek to employ homeless veterans and formerly 
     homeless veterans in positions created for purposes of the 
     grant for which those veterans are qualified.
       ``(g) Service Center Requirements.--In addition to criteria 
     established under subsection (b), the Secretary shall, in the 
     case of an application for a grant for a service center for 
     homeless veterans, require each of the following:
       ``(1) That such center provide services to homeless 
     veterans during such hours as the Secretary may specify and 
     be open to such veterans on an as-needed, unscheduled basis.
       ``(2) That space at such center will be made available, as 
     mutually agreeable, for use by staff of the Department of 
     Veterans Affairs, the Department of Labor, and other 
     appropriate agencies and organizations in assisting homeless 
     veterans served by such center.
       ``(3) That such center be equipped and staffed to provide, 
     or to assist in providing, health care, mental health 
     services, hygiene facilities, benefits and employment 
     counseling, meals, transportation assistance, and such other 
     services as the Secretary determines necessary.
       ``(4) That such center may be equipped and staffed to 
     provide, or to assist in providing, job training and job 
     placement services (including job readiness, job counseling, 
     and literacy and skills training), as well as any outreach 
     and case management services that may be necessary to carry 
     out this paragraph.
       ``(h) Recovery of Unused Grant Funds.--(1) If a grant 
     recipient (or entity eligible for such a grant) under this 
     section does not establish a program in accordance with this 
     section or ceases to furnish services under such a program 
     for which the grant was made, the United States shall be 
     entitled to recover from such recipient or entity the total 
     of all unused grant amounts made under this section to such 
     recipient or entity in connection with such program.
       ``(2) Any amount recovered by the United States under 
     paragraph (1) may be obligated by the Secretary without 
     fiscal year limitation to carry out provisions of this 
     subchapter.
       ``(3) An amount may not be recovered under paragraph (1) as 
     an unused grant amount before the end of the three-year 
     period beginning on the date on which the grant is awarded.

     ``Sec. 2012. Per diem payments

       ``(a) Per Diem Payments for Furnishing Services to Homeless 
     Veterans.--(1) Subject to the availability of appropriations 
     provided for such purpose, the Secretary, pursuant to such 
     criteria as the Secretary shall prescribe, shall provide to a 
     recipient of a grant under section 2011 of this title (or an 
     entity eligible to receive a grant under that section which 
     after November 10, 1992, establishes a program that the 
     Secretary determines carries out the purposes described in 
     that section) per diem payments for services furnished to any 
     homeless veteran--
       ``(A) whom the Secretary has referred to the grant 
     recipient (or entity eligible for such a grant); or
       ``(B) for whom the Secretary has authorized the provision 
     of services.
       ``(2) The rate for such per diem payments shall be the rate 
     authorized for State homes for domiciliary care under section 
     1741(a)(1)(A) of this title.
       ``(3) In a case in which the Secretary has authorized the 
     provision of services, per diem payments under paragraph (1) 
     may be paid retroactively for services provided not more than 
     three days before the authorization was provided.
       ``(b) Inspections.--The Secretary may inspect any facility 
     of an entity eligible for payments under subsection (a) at 
     such times as the Secretary considers necessary. No per diem 
     payment may be made to an entity under this section unless 
     the facilities of that entity meet such standards as the 
     Secretary shall prescribe.
       ``(c) Life Safety Code.--(1) Except as provided in 
     paragraph (2), a per diem payment may not be provided under 
     this section to a grant recipient unless the facilities of 
     the grant recipient meet the fire and safety requirements 
     applicable under the Life Safety Code of the National Fire 
     Protection Association.
       ``(2) During the five-year period beginning on the date of 
     the enactment of this section, paragraph (1) shall not apply 
     to an entity that received a grant under section 3 of the 
     Homeless Veterans Comprehensive Service Programs Act of 1992 
     (Public Law 102-590; 38 U.S.C. 7721 note) before that date if 
     the entity meets fire and safety requirements established by 
     the Secretary.
       ``(3) From amounts available for purposes of this section, 
     not less than $5,000,000 shall be used only for grants to 
     assist entities covered by paragraph (2) in meeting the Life 
     Safety Code of the National Fire Protection Association.

     ``Sec. 2013. Authorization of appropriations

       ``There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this 
     subchapter amounts as follows:
       ``(1) $60,000,000 for fiscal year 2002.
       ``(2) $75,000,000 for fiscal year 2003.
       ``(3) $75,000,000 for fiscal year 2004.
       ``(4) $75,000,000 for fiscal year 2005.

                ``SUBCHAPTER III--TRAINING AND OUTREACH

     ``Sec. 2021. Homeless veterans' reintegration programs

       ``(a) In General.--Subject to the availability of 
     appropriations provided for under subsection (d) and made 
     available for such purpose, the Secretary of Labor shall 
     conduct, directly or through grant or contract, such programs 
     as the Secretary determines appropriate to provide job 
     training, counseling, and placement services to expedite the 
     reintegration of homeless veterans into the labor force.
       ``(b) Requirement To Monitor Expenditures of Funds.--(1) 
     The Secretary of Labor shall collect such information as the 
     Secretary considers appropriate to monitor and evaluate the 
     distribution and expenditure of funds appropriated to carry 
     out this section. The information shall include data with 
     respect to the results or outcomes of the services provided 
     to each homeless veteran under this section.
       ``(2) The information under paragraph (1) shall be 
     furnished to the Secretary of Labor in such form as the 
     Secretary considers appropriate.
       ``(c) Administration Through the Assistant Secretary of 
     Labor for Veterans' Employment and Training.--The Secretary 
     of Labor shall carry out this section through the Assistant 
     Secretary of Labor for Veterans' Employment and Training.
       ``(d) Annual Report to Congress.--The Secretary of Labor 
     shall submit to Congress an annual report that evaluates 
     services furnished to veterans under this section, and 
     includes an analysis of the information collected under 
     subsection (c).
       ``(e) Authorization of Appropriations.--(1) There are 
     authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section 
     amounts as follows:
       ``(A) $50,000,000 for fiscal year 2002.
       ``(B) $50,000,000 for fiscal year 2003.
       ``(C) $50,000,000 for fiscal year 2004.
       ``(D) $50,000,000 for fiscal year 2005.
       ``(E) $50,000,000 for fiscal year 2006.
       ``(2) Funds appropriated to carry out this section shall 
     remain available until expended. Funds obligated in any 
     fiscal year to carry out this section may be expended in that 
     fiscal year and the succeeding fiscal year.

     ``Sec. 2022. Coordination of outreach services for veterans 
       at risk of homelessness

       ``(a) Outreach Plan.--The Secretary, acting through the 
     Under Secretary for Health, shall provide for appropriate 
     officials of the Mental Health Service and the Readjustment 
     Counseling Service of the Veterans Health Administration to 
     initiate a coordinated plan for joint outreach to veterans at 
     risk of homelessness, including particularly veterans who are 
     being discharged from institutions (including discharges from 
     inpatient psychiatric care, substance abuse treatment 
     programs, and penal institutions).
       ``(b) Matters To Be Included.--The outreach plan under 
     subsection (a) shall include the following:
       ``(1) Strategies to identify and collaborate with external 
     entities used by veterans who have not traditionally used 
     Department services to further outreach efforts.
       ``(2) Strategies to ensure that mentoring programs, 
     recovery support groups, and other appropriate support 
     networks are optimally available to veterans.

[[Page 19891]]

       ``(3) Appropriate programs or referrals to family support 
     programs.
       ``(4) Means to increase access to case management services.
       ``(5) Plans for making additional employment services 
     accessible to veterans.
       ``(6) Appropriate referral sources for mental health and 
     substance abuse services.
       ``(c) Cooperative Relationships.--The plan shall identify 
     strategies for the Department to enter into formal 
     cooperative relationships with entities outside the 
     Department to facilitate making services and resources 
     optimally available to veterans.
       ``(d) Review of Plan.--The Secretary shall submit the plan 
     under subsection (a) to the Advisory Committee on Homeless 
     Veterans for its review and consultation.
       ``(e) Outreach Program.--(1) The Secretary shall carry out 
     an outreach program to provide information to homeless 
     veterans and veterans at risk of homelessness. The program 
     shall include at a minimum--
       ``(A) provision of information about benefits available to 
     eligible veterans from the Department; and
       ``(B) contact information for local Department facilities, 
     including medical facilities, regional offices, and veterans 
     centers.
       ``(2) In developing and carrying out the program under 
     paragraph (1), the Secretary shall, to the extent 
     practicable, consult with appropriate public and private 
     organizations, including the Bureau of Prisons, State social 
     service agencies, the Department of Defense, and mental 
     health, veterans, and homeless advocates--
       ``(A) for assistance in identifying and contacting veterans 
     who are homeless or at risk of homelessness;
       ``(B) to coordinate appropriate outreach activities with 
     those organizations; and
       ``(C) to coordinate services provided to veterans with 
     services provided by those organizations.
       ``(f) Submission of Report.--Not later than two years after 
     the date of the enactment of this section, the Secretary 
     shall submit to the Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the 
     Senate and House of Representatives a report on the 
     Secretary's plan under subsection (a), including goals and 
     time lines for implementation of the plan for particular 
     facilities and service networks.

     ``Sec. 2023. Demonstration program relating to referral and 
       counseling for veterans transitioning from certain 
       institutions who are at risk for homelessness

       ``(a) Program Authority.--The Secretary and the Secretary 
     of Labor (hereinafter in this section referred to as the 
     `Secretaries') shall carry out a demonstration program for 
     the purpose of determining the costs and benefits of 
     providing referral and counseling services to eligible 
     veterans with respect to benefits and services available to 
     such veterans under this title and under State law.
       ``(b) Location of Demonstration Program.--The demonstration 
     program shall be carried out in at least six locations. One 
     location shall be a penal institution under the jurisdiction 
     of the Bureau of Prisons.
       ``(c) Scope of Program.--(1) To the extent practicable, the 
     demonstration program shall provide both referral and 
     counseling, and in the case of counseling, shall include 
     counseling with respect to job training and placement, 
     housing, health care, and such other benefits to assist the 
     eligible veteran in the transition from institutional living.
       ``(2)(A) To the extent that referral or counseling services 
     are provided at a location under the program, referral 
     services shall be provided in person during the 60-day period 
     that precedes the date of release or discharge of the 
     eligible veteran under subsection (f)(1)(B), and counseling 
     services shall be furnished after such date.
       ``(B) The Secretaries may furnish to officials of penal 
     institutions outreach information with respect to referral 
     and counseling services for presentation to veterans in the 
     custody of such officials during the 18-month period that 
     precedes such date of release or discharge.
       ``(3) The Secretaries may enter into contracts to carry out 
     the counseling required under the demonstration program with 
     entities or organizations that meet such requirements as the 
     Secretaries may establish.
       ``(4) In developing the demonstration program, the 
     Secretaries shall consult with officials of the Bureau of 
     Prisons, officials of penal institutions of States and 
     political subdivisions of States, and such other officials as 
     the Secretaries determine appropriate.
       ``(d) Report.--(1) Not later than two years after the 
     commencement of the demonstration program, the Secretary 
     (after consultation with the Secretary of Labor) shall submit 
     to the Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and the 
     House of Representatives a report on the program.
       ``(2) The report under paragraph (1) shall include the 
     following:
       ``(A) A description of the implementation and operation of 
     the program.
       ``(B) An evaluation of the effectiveness of the program.
       ``(C) Recommendations, if any, regarding an extension of 
     the program.
       ``(e) Duration.--The authority of the Secretaries to 
     provide counseling services under the demonstration program 
     shall cease on the date that is four years after the date of 
     the commencement of the demonstration program.
       ``(f) Definitions.--In this section:
       ``(1) The term `eligible veteran' means a veteran who--
       ``(A) is a resident of a penal institution or an 
     institution that provides long-term care for mental illness;
       ``(B) is expected to be imminently released or discharged 
     (as the case may be) from the facility or institution; and
       ``(C) is at risk for homelessness absent referral and 
     counseling services provided under the program (as determined 
     under guidelines established by the Secretaries).
       ``(2) The term `imminent' means, with respect to a release 
     or discharge under paragraph (1)(B), the 60-day period that 
     ends on the date of such release or discharge.

                   ``SUBCHAPTER V--HOUSING ASSISTANCE

     ``Sec. 2042. Supported housing for veterans participating in 
       compensated work therapies

       ``The Secretary may authorize homeless veterans in the 
     compensated work therapy program to be provided housing 
     through the therapeutic residence program under section 2032 
     of title or through grant and per diem providers under 
     subchapter II of this chapter.

     ``Sec. 2043. Domiciliary care programs

       ``(a) Authority.--The Secretary may establish up to 10 
     programs under section 1710(b) of this title (in addition to 
     any such program that is established as of the date of the 
     enactment of this section) to provide domiciliary services 
     under such section to homeless veterans.
       ``(b) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are 
     authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary $5,000,000 for 
     each of fiscal years 2003 and 2004 to establish the programs 
     referred to in subsection (a).

                   ``SUBCHAPTER VII--OTHER PROVISIONS

     ``Sec. 2061. Grant program for homeless veterans with special 
       needs

       ``(a) Establishment.--The Secretary shall carry out a 
     program to make grants to health care facilities of the 
     Department and to grant and per diem providers in order to 
     encourage development by those facilities and providers of 
     programs targeted at meeting special needs within the 
     population of homeless veterans.
       ``(b) Special Needs.--For purposes of this section, 
     homeless veterans with special needs include homeless 
     veterans who--
       ``(1) are women;
       ``(2) are 50 years of age or older;
       ``(3) are substance abusers;
       ``(4) are persons with post-traumatic stress disorder;
       ``(5) are terminally ill;
       ``(6) are chronically mentally ill; or
       ``(7) have care of minor dependents or other family 
     members.
       ``(c) Funding.--(1) From amounts appropriated to the 
     Department for `Medical Care' for each of fiscal years 2003, 
     2004, and 2005, the amount of $10,000,000 shall be available 
     for the purposes of the program under this section.
       ``(2) The Secretary shall ensure that funds for grants 
     under this section are designated for the first three years 
     of operation of the program under this section as a special 
     purpose program for which funds are not allocated through the 
     Veterans Equitable Resource Allocation system.

     ``Sec. 2062. Dental care

       ``(a) In General.--For purposes of section 1712(a)(1)(H) of 
     this title, outpatient dental services and treatment of a 
     dental condition or disability of a veteran described in 
     subsection (b) shall be considered to be medically necessary, 
     subject to subsection (c), if--
       ``(1) the dental services and treatment are necessary for 
     the veteran to successfully gain or regain employment;
       ``(2) the dental services and treatment are necessary to 
     alleviate pain; or
       ``(3) the dental services and treatment are necessary for 
     treatment of moderate, severe, or severe and complicated 
     gingival and periodontal pathology.
       ``(b) Eligible Veterans.--Subsection (a) applies to a 
     veteran who is--
       ``(1) enrolled for care under section 1705(a) of this 
     title; and
       ``(2) who is receiving care (directly or by contract) in 
     any of the following settings:
       ``(A) A domiciliary under section 1710 of this title.
       ``(B) A therapeutic residence under section 2032 of this 
     title.
       ``(C) Community residential care coordinated by the 
     Secretary of Veterans Affairs under section 1730 of this 
     title.
       ``(D) A setting for which the Secretary provides funds for 
     a grant and per diem provider.
       ``(c) Limitation.--Dental benefits provided by reason of 
     this section shall be a one-time course of dental care 
     provided in the same manner as the dental benefits provided 
     to a newly discharged veteran.

     ``Sec. 2063. Technical assistance grants for nonprofit 
       community-based groups

       ``(a) Grant Program.--The Secretary shall carry out a 
     program to make technical assistance grants to nonprofit 
     community-based groups with experience in providing 
     assistance to homeless veterans in order to assist such 
     groups in applying for grants under this chapter and other 
     grants relating to addressing problems of homeless veterans.

[[Page 19892]]

       ``(b) Funding.--There is authorized to be appropriated to 
     the Secretary the amount of $750,000 for each of fiscal years 
     2002 through 2005 to carry out the program under this 
     section.

     ``Sec. 2064. Annual report on assistance to homeless veterans

       ``(a) Annual Report.--Not later than April 15 of each year, 
     the Secretary shall submit to the Committees on Veterans' 
     Affairs of the Senate and House of Representatives a report 
     on the activities of the Department during the calendar year 
     preceding the report under programs of the Department under 
     this chapter and other programs of the Department for the 
     provision of assistance to homeless veterans.
       ``(b) General Contents of Report.--Each report under 
     subsection (a) shall include the following:
       ``(1) The number of homeless veterans provided assistance 
     under those programs.
       ``(2) The cost to the Department of providing such 
     assistance under those programs.
       ``(3) Any other information on those programs and on the 
     provision of such assistance that the Secretary considers 
     appropriate.
       ``(4) The Secretary's evaluation of the effectiveness of 
     the programs of the Department (including residential work-
     therapy programs, programs combining outreach, community-
     based residential treatment, and case-management, and 
     contract care programs for alcohol and drug-dependence or use 
     disabilities) in providing assistance to homeless veterans.
       ``(5) The Secretary's evaluation of the effectiveness of 
     programs established by recipients of grants under section 
     2011 of this title and a description of the experience of 
     those recipients in applying for and receiving grants from 
     the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to serve 
     primarily homeless persons who are veterans.
       ``(c) Health Care Contents of Report.--Each report under 
     subsection (a) shall include the following with respect to 
     programs of the Department addressing health care needs of 
     homeless veterans:
       ``(1) Information about expenditures, costs, and workload 
     under the program of the Department known as the Health Care 
     for Homeless Veterans program (HCHV).
       ``(2) Information about the veterans contacted through that 
     program.
       ``(3) Information about processes under that program.
       ``(4) Information about program treatment outcomes under 
     that program.
       ``(5) Information about supported housing programs.
       ``(6) Information about the Department's grant and per diem 
     provider program under subchapter II of this chapter.
       ``(7) Other information the Secretary considers relevant in 
     assessing the program.

     ``Sec. 2065. Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans

       ``(a)(1) There is established in the Department the 
     Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans (hereinafter in this 
     section referred to as the `Committee').
       ``(2) The Committee shall consist of not more than 15 
     members appointed by the Secretary from among the following:
       ``(A) Veterans service organizations.
       ``(B) Advocates of homeless veterans and other homeless 
     individuals.
       ``(C) Community-based providers of services to homeless 
     individuals.
       ``(D) Previously homeless veterans.
       ``(E) State veterans affairs officials.
       ``(F) Experts in the treatment of individuals with mental 
     illness.
       ``(G) Experts in the treatment of substance use disorders.
       ``(H) Experts in the development of permanent housing 
     alternatives for lower income populations.
       ``(I) Experts in vocational rehabilitation.
       ``(J) Such other organizations or groups as the Secretary 
     considers appropriate.
       ``(3) The Committee shall include, as ex officio members--
       ``(A) the Secretary of Labor (or a representative of the 
     Secretary selected after consultation with the Assistant 
     Secretary of Labor for Veterans' Employment);
       ``(B) the Secretary of Defense (or a representative of the 
     Secretary);
       ``(C) the Secretary of Health and Human Services (or a 
     representative of the Secretary); and
       ``(D) the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (or a 
     representative of the Secretary).
       ``(4) The Secretary shall determine the terms of service 
     and pay and allowances of the members of the Committee, 
     except that a term of service may not exceed three years. The 
     Secretary may reappoint any member for additional terms of 
     service.
       ``(b)(1) The Secretary shall, on a regular basis, consult 
     with and seek the advice of the Committee with respect to the 
     provision by the Department of benefits and services to 
     homeless veterans.
       ``(2)(A) In providing advice to the Secretary under this 
     subsection, the Committee shall--
       ``(i) assemble and review information relating to the needs 
     of homeless veterans;
       ``(ii) provide an on-going assessment of the effectiveness 
     of the policies, organizational structures, and services of 
     the Department in assisting homeless veterans; and
       ``(iii) provide on-going advice on the most appropriate 
     means of providing assistance to homeless veterans.
       ``(3) The Committee shall--
       ``(A) review the continuum of services provided by the 
     Department directly or by contract in order to define cross-
     cutting issues and to improve coordination of all services 
     with the Department that are involved in addressing the 
     special needs of homeless veterans;
       ``(B) identify (through the annual assessments under 
     section 2034 of this title and other available resources) 
     gaps in programs of the Department in serving homeless 
     veterans, including identification of geographic areas with 
     unmet needs, and provide recommendations to address those 
     program gaps;
       ``(C) identify gaps in existing information systems on 
     homeless veterans, both within and outside of the Department, 
     and provide recommendations about redressing problems in data 
     collection;
       ``(D) identify barriers under existing laws and policies to 
     effective coordination by the Department with other Federal 
     agencies and with State and local agencies addressing 
     homeless populations;
       ``(E) identify opportunities for increased liaison by the 
     Department with nongovernmental organizations and individual 
     groups addressing homeless populations;
       ``(F) with appropriate officials of the Department 
     designated by the Secretary, participate with the Interagency 
     Council on the Homeless under title II of the McKinney-Vento 
     Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11311 et seq.);
       ``(G) recommend appropriate funding levels for specialized 
     programs for homeless veterans provided or funded by the 
     Department;
       ``(H) recommend appropriate placement options for veterans 
     who, because of advanced age, frailty, or severe mental 
     illness, may not be appropriate candidates for vocational 
     rehabilitation or independent living; and
       ``(I) perform such other functions as the Secretary may 
     direct.
       ``(c)(1) Not later than March 31 of each year, the 
     Committee shall submit to the Secretary a report on the 
     programs and activities of the Department that relate to 
     homeless veterans. Each such report shall include--
       ``(A) an assessment of the needs of homeless veterans;
       ``(B) a review of the programs and activities of the 
     Department designed to meet such needs;
       ``(C) a review of the activities of the Committee; and
       ``(D) such recommendations (including recommendations for 
     administrative and legislative action) as the Committee 
     considers appropriate.
       ``(2) Not later than 90 days after the receipt of a report 
     under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall transmit to the 
     Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and House of 
     Representatives a copy of the report, together with any 
     comments and recommendations concerning the report that the 
     Secretary considers appropriate.
       ``(3) The Committee may also submit to the Secretary such 
     other reports and recommendations as the Committee considers 
     appropriate.
       ``(4) The Secretary shall submit with each annual report 
     submitted to the Congress pursuant to section 529 of this 
     title a summary of all reports and recommendations of the 
     Committee submitted to the Secretary since the previous 
     annual report of the Secretary submitted pursuant to that 
     section.
       ``(d) The Committee shall cease to exist December 31, 
     2006.''.
       (2) The tables of chapters before part I and at the 
     beginning of part II are each amended by inserting after the 
     item relating to chapter 19 the following new item:

``20. Benefits for Homeless Veterans........................2001''.....

       (b) Health Care.--(1) Subchapter VII of chapter 17 is 
     transferred to chapter 20 (as added by subsection (a)), 
     inserted after section 2023 (as so added), and redesignated 
     as subchapter IV, and sections 1771, 1772, 1773, and 1774 
     therein are redesignated as sections 2031, 2032, 2033, and 
     2034, respectively.
       (2) Subsection (a)(3) of section 2031, as so transferred 
     and redesignated, is amended by striking ``section 1772 of 
     this title'' and inserting ``section 2032 of this title''.
       (c) Housing Assistance.--Section 3735 is transferred to 
     chapter 20 (as added by subsection (a)), inserted after the 
     heading for subchapter V, and redesignated as section 2041.
       (d) Multifamily Transitional Housing.--(1) Subchapter VI of 
     chapter 37 (other than section 3771) is transferred to 
     chapter 20 (as added by subsection (a)) and inserted after 
     section 2043 (as added by subsection (a)), and sections 3772, 
     3773, 3774, and 3775 therein are redesignated as sections 
     2051, 2052, 2053, and 2054, respectively.
       (2) Such subchapter is amended--
       (A) in the heading, by striking ``FOR HOMELESS VETERANS'';
       (B) in subsection (d)(1) of section 2051, as so transferred 
     and redesignated, by striking ``section 3773 of this title'' 
     and inserting ``section 2052 of this title''; and

[[Page 19893]]

       (C) in subsection (a) of section 2052, as so transferred 
     and redesignated, by striking ``section 3772 of this title'' 
     and inserting ``section 2051 of this title''.
       (3) Section 3771 is repealed.
       (e) Repeal of Codified Provisions.--The following 
     provisions of law are repealed:
       (1) Sections 3, 4, and 12 of the Homeless Veterans 
     Comprehensive Service Programs Act of 1992 (Public Law 102-
     590; 38 U.S.C. 7721 note).
       (2) Section 1001 of the Veterans' Benefits Improvements Act 
     of 1994 (Public Law 103-446; 38 U.S.C. 7721 note).
       (3) Section 4111.
       (4) Section 738 of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance 
     Act (42 U.S.C. 11448).
       (f) Extension of Expiring Authorities.--Subsection (b) of 
     section 2031, as redesignated by subsection (b)(1), and 
     subsection (d) of section 2033, as so redesignated, are 
     amended by striking ``December 31, 2001'' and inserting 
     ``December 31, 2006''.
       (g) Clerical Amendments.--
       (1) The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 17 is 
     amended by striking the item relating to subchapter VII and 
     the items relating to sections 1771, 1772, 1773, and 1774.
       (2) The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 37 is 
     amended--
       (A) by striking the item relating to section 3735; and
       (B) by striking the item relating to subchapter VI and the 
     items relating to sections 3771, 3772, 3773, 3774, and 3775.
       (3) The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 41 is 
     amended by striking the item relating to section 4111.

     SEC. 6. EVALUATION OF HOMELESS PROGRAMS.

       (a) Evaluation Centers.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs 
     shall support the continuation within the Department of 
     Veterans Affairs of at least one center for evaluation to 
     monitor the structure, process, and outcome of programs of 
     the Department of Veterans Affairs that address homeless 
     veterans.
       (b) Annual Program Assessment.--Section 2034(b), as 
     transferred and redesignated by section 5(b)(1), is amended--
       (1) by inserting ``annual'' in paragraph (1) after ``to 
     make an''; and
       (2) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
       ``(6) The Secretary shall review each annual assessment 
     under this subsection and shall consolidate the findings and 
     conclusions of those assessments into an annual report to be 
     submitted to Congress.''.

     SEC. 7. STUDY OF OUTCOME EFFECTIVENESS OF GRANT PROGRAM FOR 
                   HOMELESS VETERANS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS.

       (a) Study.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall conduct 
     a study of the effectiveness during fiscal year 2002 through 
     fiscal year 2004 of the grant program under section 2061 of 
     title 38, United States Code, as added by section 5(a), in 
     meeting the needs of homeless veterans with special needs (as 
     specified in that section). As part of the study, the 
     Secretary shall compare the results of programs carried out 
     under that section, in terms of veterans' satisfaction, 
     health status, reduction in addiction severity, housing, and 
     encouragement of productive activity, with results for 
     similar veterans in programs of the Department or of grant 
     and per diem providers that are designed to meet the general 
     needs of homeless veterans.
       (b) Report.--Not later than March 31, 2005, the Secretary 
     shall submit to the Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the 
     Senate and House of Representatives a report setting forth 
     the results of the study under subsection (a).

     SEC. 8. ADDITIONAL PROGRAMMATIC EXPANSIONS.

       (a) Access to Mental Health Services.--Section 1706 is 
     amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:
       ``(c) The Secretary shall develop standards to ensure that 
     mental health services are available to veterans in a manner 
     similar to the manner in which primary care is available to 
     veterans who require services by ensuring that each primary 
     care health care facility of the Department has a mental 
     health treatment capacity.''.
       (b) Comprehensive Homeless Services Program.--Subsection 
     (b) of section 2033, as transferred and redesignated by 
     section 5(b)(1), is amended--
       (1) by striking ``not fewer'' in the first sentence and all 
     that follows through ``services) at''; and
       (2) by adding at the end the following new sentence: ``The 
     Secretary shall carry out the program under this section in 
     sites in at least each of the 20 largest metropolitan 
     statistical areas.''.
       (c) Opioid Substitution Therapy.--Section 1720A is amended 
     by adding at the end the following new subsection:
       ``(d) The Secretary shall ensure that opioid substitution 
     therapy is available at each Department medical center.''.

     SEC. 9. COORDINATION OF EMPLOYMENT SERVICES.

       (a) Disabled Veterans' Outreach Program.--Section 4103A(c) 
     is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
       ``(11) Coordination of services provided to veterans with 
     training assistance provided to veterans by entities 
     receiving financial assistance under section 2021 of this 
     title.''.
       (b) Local Veterans' Employment Representatives.--Section 
     4104(b) is amended by adding at the end the following new 
     paragraph:
       ``(13) Coordinate services provided to veterans with 
     training assistance for veterans provided by entities 
     receiving financial assistance under section 2021 of this 
     title.''.

     SEC. 10. USE OF REAL PROPERTY.

       (a) Limitation on Declaring Property Excess to the Needs of 
     the Department.--Section 8122(d) is amended by inserting 
     before the period at the end the following: ``and is not 
     suitable for use for the provision of services to homeless 
     veterans by the Department or by another entity under an 
     enhanced-use lease of such property under section 8162 of 
     this title''.
       (b) Waiver of Competitive Selection Process for Enhanced-
     Use Leases for Properties Used To Serve Homeless Veterans.--
     Section 8162(b)(1) is amended--
       (1) by inserting ``(A)'' after ``(b)(1)''; and
       (2) by adding at the end the following:
       ``(B) In the case of a property that the Secretary 
     determines is appropriate for use as a facility to furnish 
     services to homeless veterans under chapter 20 of this title, 
     the Secretary may enter into an enhanced-use lease without 
     regard to the selection procedures required under 
     subparagraph (A).''.
       (c) Effective Date.--The amendments made by subsection (b) 
     shall apply to leases entered into on or after the date of 
     the enactment of this Act.

     SEC. 11. MEETINGS OF INTERAGENCY COUNCIL ON HOMELESS.

       Section 202(c) of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance 
     Act (42 U.S.C. 11312(c)) is amended to read as follows:
       ``(c) Meetings.--The Council shall meet at the call of its 
     Chairperson or a majority of its members, but not less often 
     than annually.''.

     SEC. 12. RENTAL ASSISTANCE VOUCHERS FOR HUD VETERANS AFFAIRS 
                   SUPPORTED HOUSING PROGRAM.

       Section 8(o) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 
     U.S.C. 1437f(o)) is amended by adding at the end the 
     following new paragraph:
       ``(19) Rental vouchers for veterans affairs supported 
     housing program.--
       ``(A) Set aside.--Subject to subparagraph (C), the 
     Secretary shall set aside, from amounts made available for 
     rental assistance under this subsection, the amounts 
     specified in subparagraph (B) for use only for providing such 
     assistance through a supported housing program administered 
     in conjunction with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Such 
     program shall provide rental assistance on behalf of homeless 
     veterans who have chronic mental illnesses or chronic 
     substance use disorders, shall require agreement of the 
     veteran to continued treatment for such mental illness or 
     substance use disorder as a condition of receipt of such 
     rental assistance, and shall ensure such treatment and 
     appropriate case management for each veteran receiving such 
     rental assistance.
       ``(B) Amount.--The amount specified in this subparagraph 
     is--
       ``(i) for fiscal year 2003, the amount necessary to provide 
     500 vouchers for rental assistance under this subsection;
       ``(ii) for fiscal year 2004, the amount necessary to 
     provide 1,000 vouchers for rental assistance under this 
     subsection;
       ``(iii) for fiscal year 2005, the amount necessary to 
     provide 1,500 vouchers for rental assistance under this 
     subsection; and
       ``(iv) for fiscal year 2006, the amount necessary to 
     provide 2,000 vouchers for rental assistance under this 
     subsection.
       ``(C) Funding through incremental assistance.--In any 
     fiscal year, to the extent that this paragraph requires the 
     Secretary to set aside rental assistance amounts for use 
     under this paragraph in an amount that exceeds that set aside 
     in the preceding fiscal year, such requirement shall be 
     effective only to such extent or in such amounts as are or 
     have been provided in appropriation Acts for such fiscal year 
     for incremental rental assistance under this subsection.''.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from New 
Jersey (Mr. Smith) and the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Evans) each 
will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Smith).
  Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I 
may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, the Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that there 
are 225,000 homeless veterans living on the streets on any given night. 
Other organizations, VSOs, believe that the number is higher, closer to 
300,000. Either number is far, far too high and a national travesty.
  For these veterans, access to VA benefits, specialized services and 
effective outreach are vital components to any hope of individual 
stability and improvement in their prospects. The legislation before 
the House today, H.R. 2716, is designed to provide assistance to these 
men and women, with a national goal of ending chronic homelessness 
among veterans within 10 years.
  Mr. Speaker, legislation is about more than programs and regulations; 
it

[[Page 19894]]

is about real people. Let me spend just a moment describing to the 
House the remarkable life of one, just one, but a very, very important 
guy, who had his life changed because of the VA. It made a major 
difference in his life.
  Stuart Alan Collick is a 39-year-old veteran from my State of New 
Jersey. Last month he appeared before the Committee on Veterans' 
Affairs to tell his story. Stuart joined the all-volunteer army at the 
age of 23 and told us he could not think of any higher calling than to 
serve his country, and he did it with distinction. Stuart had combat 
service in Grenada, and later distinguished himself as an infantryman 
in the Persian Gulf War. He holds the Army Service Ribbon with three 
Oak Leaf Clusters, the Southwest Asia Service Ribbon, three Bronze 
Stars, and three Good Conduct Medals, and the Combat Infantryman's 
Badge, among other official recognition. He served, as I said, with 
distinction; and he did his duty.
  But, as you know, combat is an extremely unpleasant and a very 
terrible experience for many and leaves scars that sometimes do not 
heal. Mr. Collick left the Army in 1992 a disillusioned man and he 
began drinking, and then he turned to hard drug use. Within 5 years of 
discharge, he had lost his job, his family and his home, and was on the 
streets. His life, like that of many other homeless addicted veterans, 
was in chaos.
  Last year, Mr. Collick found the VA Homeless Assistance Program of 
New Jersey. With the VA's help and with his faith, he turned his life 
around, finding new ways to cope. He found a job and his own apartment. 
He developed new friendships and reestablished relationships with his 
family, which had been severed.
  Today Mr. Collick is working as a carpenter and a foreman on the VA's 
veterans construction team at Lyons, New Jersey, helping to build a 
commercial greenhouse and teaching other veterans how to build 
something positive, showing them by his own personal example that there 
is hope. Today Mr. Collick is a role model. He is an inspiration to his 
fellow veterans in early recovery and drawing strength from his own 
experiences in the Army and in his life.
  This is what this bill is all about. The VA's construction project is 
a plan of the innovative leader of New Jersey's Homeless Assistance 
Program for Veterans, John Kuhn, who also testified at our hearing and 
is doing a magnificent job; and he testified with a few other veterans 
who, likewise, told their stories of being down at the bottom, but 
finding hope and finding that lifesaver from the VA.
  Mr. Speaker, it is difficult to pinpoint any one cause of 
homelessness among our veterans. Readjustment problems are often 
associated with direct exposure to combat, such as Mr. Collick's case, 
and that of thousands, tens of thousands, of others like him, who 
returned to a seemingly uncaring society.
  Also we know that the majority of homeless veterans suffer from 
mental illness, including posttraumatic stress disorder. Illegal 
substance abuse often complicates their situations. Some have even 
served time in jail.
  A veteran with an impaired mental state often loses the ability to 
maintain stable employment. Absent employment, it eventually becomes 
difficult to maintain any type of permanent housing. The vicious cycle 
can only accelerate once employment and housing are lost. The absence 
of these two important anchors, employment and housing, is a precursor 
for increased utilization of medical resources and emergency rooms, VA 
and other public hospitals, and, unfortunately, the resources of 
America's courtrooms, jails and prisons as well.
  That is why our legislation takes a comprehensive and multifaceted 
approach to addressing chronic homelessness among veterans, 
concentrating the resources of Federal agencies in this campaign. For 
example, H.R. 2716 authorizes 2,000 additional HUD section 8 low-income 
housing vouchers phased in over 4 years for homeless veterans in need 
of permanent housing. These veterans must be enrolled in the VA health 
care, and priority will be given to veterans under care for mental 
illnesses or substance abuse disorders. This is a modest proposal that, 
if successful, I hope will be increased substantially going forward 
into the future.
  H.R. 2617 also authorizes $10 million over 2 years for 10 new 
Domiciliary for Homeless Veterans programs. These programs, like the 
one at Lyons, New Jersey, helped Stuart Collick. Again, it was his 
lifeline; and they have proven to be highly effective, and we need to 
have more.
  The bill improves and expands the VA's homeless grant and per diem 
program. Currently, recipients of these funds are already contributing 
substantially to the fulfillment of this bill's objective, to reduce 
homelessness and provide for the special needs of homeless veterans. 
This bill authorizes $285 million over 4 years for that program. It 
also provides a new mechanism for setting per diem payment so it will 
be adjusted on a regular basis.
  Working, as we all know, is an important key to helping homeless 
veterans rejoin American society, but employment is not possible unless 
a veteran has access to quality medical care and other supportive 
services. Safe and drug-free housing is equally important.
  The Department of Labor's Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program was 
designed to put homeless veterans back into the labor force. H.R. 2716 
extends and increases the authorization level to $250 million over 5 
years for this very effective program.
  As I indicated, prevention of homelessness among veterans is an 
important objective of our bill. H.R. 2716 authorizes a demonstration 
program to learn whether earlier intervention can prevent homelessness 
among formerly institutionalized veterans. The program would be carried 
out at six demonstration sites, one of which would be with the Bureau 
of Prisons facilities. The purpose of this program is to provide 
incarcerated veterans with referral and counseling about job training, 
housing, health care and other needs determined necessary to assist the 
veteran in transition from institutionalized living to civil life.
  Mr. Speaker, these are just some of the highlights of our 
comprehensive bill, the Stuart Collick-Heather French Henry Homeless 
Veterans' Assistance Act. I believe the bill accomplishes several very 
important and interrelated goals. It will provide needed assistance to 
homeless veterans, lift them to a sustainable level that will prevent 
them from returning to a state of homelessness, and help them to become 
self-sufficient individuals who are accountable for their own actions.
  This bill will also hold all grant and contract recipients 
accountable for performing their promised services in exchange for 
government investments and promote a greater opportunity to work across 
Departments to provide the best possible service for our Nation's 
homeless veterans. It also sponsors innovative approaches at prevention 
of homelessness in high-risk groups within the veterans population.
  Mr. Speaker, I want to take this opportunity to thank my very good 
friend and colleague, the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Evans), the 
committee's ranking member, for a bill he introduced earlier, H.R. 936, 
to improve Homeless Veterans Assistance Programs. The gentleman and his 
staff have worked in good faith with me and my staff in fashioning a 
bill that is truly a bipartisan bill that has taken many elements that 
are out there, made those that are already working hopefully more 
responsive, hopefully, and, as this bill would do, provide additional 
resources for them. I do hope that this will move through the House and 
obviously to the Senate.
  Mr. Speaker, I add the following for the Record.

                                    U.S. House of Representatives,


                               Committee on Veterans' Affairs,

                                 Washington, DC, October 12, 2001.
     Hon. Michael G. Oxley,
     Chairman, Committee on Financial Services, Rayburn House 
         Office Building, Washington, DC.
       Dear Chairman Oxley: Thank you for your letter regarding 
     your Committee's jurisdictional interest in H.R. 2716, the 
     ``Stuart Collick-Heather French Henry Homeless Veterans 
     Assistance Act''.

[[Page 19895]]

       I acknowledge your committee's jurisdictional interest in 
     this legislation and appreciate your cooperation in moving 
     the bill to the House floor expeditiously. I agree that your 
     decision to forego further action on the bill will not 
     prejudice the Committee on Financial Services with respect to 
     its jurisdictional prerogatives on this or similar 
     legislation. I will include a copy of your letter and this 
     response in the Committee's report on the bill and the 
     Congressional Record when the legislation is considered by 
     the House.
       Thank you again for your cooperation.
           Sincerely,
                                             Christopher H. Smith,
     Chairman.
                                  ____

                                    U.S. House of Representatives,


                              Committee on Financial Services,

                                 Washington, DC, October 11, 2001.
     Hon. Christopher H. Smith,
     Chairman, Committee on Veterans' Affairs, Cannon House Office 
         Building, Washington, DC.
       Dear Chairman Smith: I understand that the Committee on 
     Veterans' Affairs recently ordered H.R. 2716, the Stuart 
     Collick-Heather French Henry Homeless Veterans Assistance 
     Act, reported to the House. As you know, the Committee on 
     Financial Services was granted an additional referral upon 
     the bill's introduction pursuant to the Committee's 
     jurisdiction over housing under rule X of the Rules of the 
     House of Representatives.
       Because of the importance of this matter, I recognize your 
     desire to bring this legislation before the House in an 
     expeditious manner and will waive consideration of the bill 
     by the Financial Services Committee. By agreeing to waive its 
     consideration of the bill, the Financial Services Committee 
     does not waive its jurisdiction over H.R. 2716. In addition, 
     the Committee on Financial Services reserves its authority to 
     seek conferees on any provisions of the bill that are within 
     the Financial Services Committee's jurisdiction during any 
     House-Senate conference that may be convened on this 
     legislation. I ask your commitment to support any request by 
     the Committee on Financial Services for conferees on H.R. 
     2716 or related legislation.
       I request that you include this letter and your response as 
     part of the Congressional Record during consideration of the 
     legislation on the House floor.
       Thank you for your attention to these matters.
           Sincerely,
                                                 Michael G. Oxley,
                                                         Chairman.

  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. EVANS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. EVANS. Mr. Speaker, I salute the gentleman from New Jersey 
(Chairman Smith) as well. He has done excellent work in bringing this 
bill about on a very short basis. We know the gentleman has outlined it 
pretty well. I wanted to just offer a few random thoughts.
  Mr. Speaker, we were all horrified by the devastation caused at the 
World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon, as well as the tragic 
loss of innocent life in Pennsylvania which also occurred. Since these 
senseless acts of terrorism, our service members have been called to 
put their lives on the line once again.
  Many of us have paused to take stock of how America treats their 
fallen heroes, our veterans. Fortunately, we have a measure before us 
today that reflects the appreciation of a grateful Nation. This 
bipartisan legislation we brought to the House floor today will benefit 
our homeless veterans.
  Originally, I had introduced comprehensive homeless veterans 
legislation in the 106th Congress. Earlier this year I again introduced 
comprehensive legislation, which received the support of more than 130 
bipartisan cosponsors, H.R. 936, as its predecessor was named, to honor 
the contributions of Miss America 2000 Heather French Henry on behalf 
of the homeless veterans in our country.
  During her years of service as Miss America, she was an untiring 
advocate for our Nation's veterans and succeeded as no one else in 
increasing public awareness about this issue. She educated the American 
people as a result and gave hope to those in need. She is the daughter 
of a combat-wounded veteran whom she accompanied to the VA for his 
medical care. Her uncle was also a combat veteran who became homeless 
after his service to our Nation. She advocated on behalf of homeless 
veterans with sensitivity and compassion, and I thank her for her 
contributions.
  H.R. 936 addressed some of the most pragmatic hurdles I believe 
homeless veterans face in re-attaining optimum independence and 
productivity. Many of the building blocks for homeless veterans' 
programs are contained in the VA's mental health infrastructure, but 
there is not enough vital substance abuse and mental health care 
programs to help our veterans on to the path of sobriety and increased 
functionality.
  I believe that H.R. 2716, as amended, will help us address these 
deficits and help balance and improve the VA's program for homeless 
veterans.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman 
from California (Mr. Filner).
  Mr. FILNER. Mr. Speaker, I thank the ranking member, the gentleman 
from Illinois (Mr. Evans), for his long years of activity on behalf of 
the homeless veterans in this Nation, and the gentleman from New Jersey 
(Chairman Smith), who brings his passion to this activity; and when the 
gentleman from New Jersey (Chairman Smith) brings passion to any area, 
he succeeds. I thank the gentleman for bringing his intensity to this 
bill and to this issue.
  Mr. Speaker, it is disgraceful that in this Nation, 250,000 to 
350,000 veterans are on the street every night; people who have served 
this country, men and women who have risked their lives here and abroad 
to give our Nation freedom, and yet, for a variety of reasons, they are 
homeless tonight.
  It is a disgrace that this Nation allows this to occur, and it is 
especially a disgrace that as we are moving more men and women into 
harm's way, as we fight this war of the 21st century, we have their 
forbears on the street and not able to participate fully in American 
life.

                              {time}  1630

  We know we can change this situation.
  Many of my colleagues have been to what is referred to as stand-downs 
around the Nation. The first one happened in my hometown of San Diego 
in 1987 and I have been at every one of them since. The first 10 or so 
stand-downs that I went to were immensely moving. What we saw is that 
people who had been fearful and without any kind of roots in the 
community were able to come together, be together for 3 days, and the 
whole community was supporting them and brought in resources that 
allowed them to be human beings again, and it gave them the resources, 
in fact, to take and become part of society once more. There was legal 
advice. There was medical advice. There was job counseling. There were 
dentists. There were clothes. There was food. There was mental health 
counseling, drug abuse counseling. But, most of all, there was 
fellowship and comradeship, and the sense that these, our Nation's 
veterans, can be cared for once the community decided to do so.
  Well, I went to those stand-downs for a decade, moved by the results 
and moved by the stories that I heard, but then I said, we have learned 
from these stand-downs that we can solve the problem. For 3 days we 
have given these men and women something to hope for and something to 
share and a way out of their predicament, but what happens to the other 
362 days? Why does this country not care for those veterans, our 
veterans, the other 362 days? I said, I am tired of going to stand-
downs. What we have to do as a Nation is bring all of those programs 
together and deal with these heroes of our society.
  That is what the chairman of the Committee on Veterans' Affairs is 
attempting to do with this bill, and that is what the ranking member, 
the gentleman from Illinois, (Mr. Evans), with his contributions and 
his original bill, have attempted to do. They have attempted to bring 
the different programs together that we know work around medical care, 
around housing, around job development, around substance abuse and 
alcohol counseling but, most of all, around the concept that this 
Nation is not going to let veterans languish on the streets of our 
country. We have had enough of this. As we are sending new folks into 
battle, and as we are creating new veterans, we cannot forget the 
quarter of a million, the 350,000 that are on the streets tonight.
  So this bill is a step, a major step, a big step in the direction of 
bringing

[[Page 19896]]

those programs together and telling the Nation that we are going to get 
rid of this problem. I hope that this bill does not become just a bill 
that authorizes some programs, that this is a bill that is funded, 
fully funded to take care of people who have taken care of us. We can 
no longer tolerate this in America. I ask my colleagues not only to 
pass this bill, but to fight in the appropriations process for money 
and to take any step that must be taken after this to address the 
issues that we know have to be addressed.
  Mr. Speaker, this is not rocket science. We know what to do. We know 
how to bring the resources together. The community does that in San 
Diego and virtually in every major city and other small towns across 
this country during the stand-downs. Let us make this bill a stand-down 
for 365 days a year where veterans of our Nation, the heroes of our 
Nation, can get the help they need and return to our society as 
productive members. Once again, Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from 
New Jersey (Mr. Smith) and I thank the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. 
Evans). We are going to take care of our heroes.
  Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 1 minute, just 
to thank the gentleman from California (Mr. Filner) for his kind 
remarks and also to make note that the gentleman from Kansas (Mr. 
Moran), the chairman of our Subcommittee on Health, was very, very 
helpful in crafting this legislation. He is not here today because he 
is at the White House, or he would be here.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman 
from Connecticut (Mr. Simmons), a member of the committee and a Vietnam 
veteran himself.
  Mr. SIMMONS. Mr. Speaker, I rise in full and complete support of the 
Homeless Veterans Assistance Act. First and foremost, this is a 
bipartisan bill. I think that is incredibly important. During 
consideration of this bill and its various parts within the Committee 
on Veterans' Affairs, there were some occasional disagreements, but 
these were all resolved on a bipartisan basis and all of the various 
elements of this bill came together so that when this bill ultimately 
was marked up and reported out of committee, my recollection is that it 
was unanimous and in fact, I am certain it was unanimous. I think that 
is an important part of why this is a good bill and why this bill 
deserves our support.
  I believe that all bills dealing with veterans should be bipartisan, 
because their service to their country is not based on a partisan 
consideration. When you are in the field, when you are on the 
frontline, when you are in a foxhole, when you are flying an airplane, 
when you are on an aircraft carrier or submarine, you do not ask the 
party affiliation of your comrade in arms. It does not matter. What 
matters is that you are serving a great Nation and you should be 
rewarded for your service because you did serve a great Nation, and 
that should be bipartisan.
  I will also note that this bill, in addressing the issue of 
homelessness, sets a national goal to eliminate homelessness among 
veterans in 10 years, in 10 years. I think that is an important goal, 
and I think that is a goal that we should work towards.
  It also provides veterans and homeless veterans, especially those 
with mental issues, priority when it comes to the benefits of this 
bill. I think that is a very important thing to consider. I left 
Vietnam in 1972. My last tour in Vietnam ended in 1972. That was almost 
30 years ago. Here we are 30 years later, and there are still Vietnam 
veterans on the streets of our cities homeless in our communities 
across this country. Thirty years after the war is over, and there are 
still homeless veterans.
  The problem is that the issue of homelessness with veterans goes 
beyond simply providing a house, a place to live, a structure. One 
cannot be happy in a house if one is not happy in one's own heart or in 
one's own head. For many of these veterans, we have to get to the 
issues of their heart and their head before we can find a home for 
them.
  That is exactly what this legislation does. It partners the veteran 
with people in various bureaucracies, various elements of the 
administration, various aspects of the Committee on Veterans' Affairs 
so that this veteran can actually come home in his heart and in his 
head to a home.
  For these reasons, Mr. Speaker, I support this bill, and I thank the 
gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Smith), the chairman of our committee, 
and the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Evans), the ranking member, and 
the members of the committee for their fine work on this bill.
  Mr. EVANS. Mr. Speaker, I have no further requests for time, and I 
yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I 
may consume just to conclude.
  At the end of every movie we always see a list of credits, and they 
are the people really, not just the director or even the actor or 
actress that makes that movie, it is that cast of people that really do 
the nuts and bolts work of any movie. Well, the same goes for 
legislation. I think every one of us are very well aware how important 
staff is, and I just want to say how grateful I am to the 
professionalism and the competence and, above all, the compassion of 
our very fine staff. It is a bipartisan staff headed up by Pat Ryan, 
our Chief Counsel and Chief of Staff; John Bradley, Kimberly Cowins, 
Greg Carmichael, Kingston Smith, Jeannie McNally, Summer Larson, Darryl 
Kehrer, Paige McManus, Peter Dickenson, Devon Seibert, Jerry Tan and 
Art Wu, and the ranking member's staff, including Mike Dunishin and 
Susan Edgerton, all of whom played major roles in crafting this 
legislation. I want to express my sincerest gratitude.
  Mr. Speaker, this truly is a bipartisan bill. We really want to end 
the horrific tragedy of homelessness for our veterans, end it for 
everyone, but first and foremost, those who served this country.
  Mr. MORAN of Kansas. Mr. Speaker, the homeless assistance bill before 
the House today is a bipartisan product. The Committee has combined the 
best elements of the Chairman's bill, H.R. 2716, the Homeless Veterans 
Assistance Act of 2001, with those of Mr. Evans' bill, H.R. 936, and I 
believe our efforts will make a major impact in stemming homelessness 
in the veteran population.
  This legislation incorporates accountability, innovation, prevention, 
and funding programs that work to reduce homelessness. I believe these 
are the right tools, and this is the right moment, for us to make a 
concerted effort to help our homeless veterans.
  I want to thank Mr. Filner and Mr. Evans for their excellent work to 
bring this consensus bill to the House floor today. I congratulate the 
Chairman of our full Committee, Ranking Member Evans and other Members 
who have worked on this bill for their substantial contribution to an 
effort to finally solve this vexing problem. The latest count of 
homeless veterans totals over 225,000. Those of us who are comfortable 
in our lives have no idea how horrible these veterans lives are. Access 
to VA benefits, specialized services and effective outreach are vital 
components to any hope these individuals have in changing their lives.
  This bill can help our country's veterans return to a state of self-
sufficiency, accountable for their own actions, with life skills to 
cope. Our goal is to eliminate chronic homelessness among veterans 
within ten years. By voting for this bill we take the first step in 
obtaining our goal of reducing our homeless veteran population. Also, 
some of our efforts may serve as models for homeless assistance 
programs for others.
  Mr. Speaker, our veterans cannot wait any longer for us to take 
action on this problem. Homeless veterans need assistance today; they 
need our help. Please support this measure.
  Mr. UDALL of New Mexico. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support 
of H.R. 2716, the James Drappeaux-Stuart Collick-Heather French Henry 
Homeless Veterans Assistance Act. I am proud to be a cosponsor of this 
measure and I would like to thank Chairman Smith, Ranking Member Evans, 
and my colleagues on the Veterans Affairs Committee for their hard work 
on this importannt legislation.
  For far too long, too many of the men and women who have served in 
our nation's military have been homeless. It is a sad fact that an 
estimated 225,000 veterans throughout the United States live on the 
streets. That is why I am pleased today to support the passage of

[[Page 19897]]

H.R. 2716, which is a critical step in addressing this shameful 
situation in our country. Among several other provisions included in 
this bill, H.R. 2716 authorizes 2,000 additional HUD section 8 low-
income housing vouchers over 4 years for homeless veterans, establishes 
a grant program for homeless veterans with special needs, and 
establishes a limited dental provision for veterans using VA homeless 
programs. In addition, H.R. 2716 establishes evaluation centers for 
programs that serve homeless populations and requires annual program 
assessments to be submitted to Congress. These are just a few of the 
many critical provisions in H.R. 2716 that will help eliminate the 
problem of chronic homelessness among veterans. I ask my colleagues to 
join me in support of this important legislation for the men and women 
who have sacrificed so much in defense of liberty and democracy.
  Mr. GILMAN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of H.R. 2716, 
the Homeless Veterans Assistance Act of 2001. I urge my colleagues to 
join in supporting this timely appropriate legislation.
  This legislation authorizes, in addition to the current existing 
program, 500 Department of Housing and Urban Development low-income 
housing vouchers per year for the next 4 years. Along with this, the 
bill also requires the Veterans Health Administration to increase the 
number of caseworkers so that all veterans who receive such a housing 
voucher can be seen by a case manager.
  The legislation also requires the VA to ensure the accuracy of its 
reporting system on: the demand for services by homeless veterans, the 
level of understanding among grant recipients of their responsibility 
to serve homeless veterans, and the development of an evaluation system 
to analyze the progress of veterans enrolled in the program, and on the 
overall effectiveness of the various homeless programs. The Secretary 
is also given the authority to rescind or recover homeless grant funds 
from those programs that fail to meet their established guidelines for 
using such money with relation to offering services to homeless 
veterans.
  In terms of specific funding, the bill provides $60 million for 
fiscal year 2002 for the Department of Veterans Affairs Homeless Grant 
and Per Diem Program, and raises this amount to $75 million for fiscal 
years 2003-2005. Moreover, it also directs the VA Secretary to 
establish 10 new domiciliary for homeless veterans programs, and 
authorizes $5 million per year for this purpose beginning in 2003.
  Finally, the legislation strengthens and expands job training and 
counseling services offered through the Department of Labor's Homeless 
Veterans Reintegration Program. Additional services are authorized 
through the creation of a demonstration project in six locations for 
veterans in institutional confinement, particularly those with 
substance abuse problems or mental illnesses. These services are 
designed to facilitate the successful reintegration of the veteran into 
productive society.
  The issue of homeless veterans is one of our Government's more 
significant failures with regards to military and social policy. Every 
night thousands of veterans sleep on the streets or inside shelters. 
Additionally, many of these individuals have criminal records, 
substance abuse problems, and are often mentally ill.
  Simply put, this is inexcusable. These veterans answered their 
country's call to service in their prime years. We as a nation have an 
obligation to these men and women to ensure that they at least have a 
roof over their heads, and whatever assistance they may require to deal 
with the demons of mental illness or substance abuse. This bill takes a 
significant step toward this goal. Accordingly, I urge my colleagues to 
lend it their wholehearted support.
  Mr. RODRIGUEZ. Mr. Speaker, I'd also like to thank our distinguished 
chairman and ranking member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee for 
crafting this bipartisan legislation that targets the specialized needs 
of a often-neglected population within the veterans community--the 
homeless--which has very little access to services. Last year, the VA 
issued a report on homeless veterans. It found that during 1999 there 
were an estimated 344,983 homeless veterans, an increase of 34 percent 
above the 1998 estimate. Many of our homeless veterans suffer from post 
traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental illnesses in addition 
to drug addiction. Unfortunately, the VA has cut the number of 
inpatient beds in half.
  Many have argued, and the committee has heard testimony to this 
effect, that the lack of inpatient beds has adversely affected the 
quality of care for veterans who suffer from substance abuse, many of 
whom are homeless. The VA admitted during a hearing that they have not 
met 1996 capacity requirements for substance abuse. So while I'm happy 
H.R. 2716 authorizes more resources for homeless programs and promotes 
greater accountability and oversight for these programs, I have 
concerns with some of VA's policies, which may hinder implementation.
  In particular, the VA's move from inpatient hospital settings to 
community based clinics may have unintentionally turned homeless 
veterans away from treatment. Therefore, I hope this legislation will 
enable the VA to better serve this population through aggressive 
outreach efforts and to render much-needed services as quickly as 
possible.
  The events of the past month have reminded us that our Nation's peace 
and security must be protected at any cost. Those men and women who 
answer the call to defend our democracy when it is under attack should 
be assured that we will take care of them during their time of crisis.
  Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my 
time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the 
gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Smith) that the House suspend the rules 
and pass the bill, H.R. 2716, as amended.
  The question was taken.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. In the opinion of the Chair, two-thirds of 
those present have voted in the affirmative.
  Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and 
nays.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX and the 
Chair's prior announcement, further proceedings on this motion will be 
postponed.

                          ____________________