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Community Homelessness Assessment, Local Education and Networking Group (CHALENG) for Veterans: The 17th Annual Progress Report
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Since 1993, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has collaborated with local communities across the United States on Project CHALENG for Veterans. The vision of CHALENG is to bring together homeless and formerly homeless Veterans (referred to in this report as “consumers”), providers, advocates, local officials, and other concerned citizens (annual participation of “all respondents” in graph below) to identify the needs of homeless Veterans and then work to meet those needs through planning and cooperative action.

As in previous years, data collected during the FY 2010 CHALENG process are from questionnaires completed by respondents that include VA staff, community providers, and homeless Veterans. Three years ago, CHALENG introduced a consumer-specific survey. This effort is designed to empower consumers (annual participation of “consumers” in graph below) as active participants in the design and delivery of homeless services. Their involvement is consistent with VA’s recovery-oriented approach to delivering mental health services. CHALENG represents one of the only efforts to catalog the needs of homeless persons that relies heavily on consumer input. Since the introduction of the consumer survey for FY 2007, participation in CHALENG has increased significantly (see graph below).
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A program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services