VA’s National Director for Homeless Programs Wins Award

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Honored by the National Association of Social Workers Foundation

VA’s National Director for Homeless Programs Wins Award

<0> U.S. Department of Veterans AffairsOffice of Public AffairsMedia Relations202-461-7600 </0>

Lisa M. Pape, the national director, Veterans Health Administration (VHA) homeless programs within the Department of Veterans Affairs, has been named recipient of the 2012 Knee – Wittman Award for outstanding achievement in health and mental health policy.

“I commend Lisa for the implementation of VA’s plan to end homelessness among Veterans, including programs for homeless and at-risk Veterans that span prevention, outreach, treatment, transitional and permanent housing solutions and supportive services,” stated Undersecretary for Health Robert A. Petzel, M.D. “She effectively executes VA’s $1 billion budget for specialized homeless services, and focuses on the best ways to meet the needs of these Veterans.”

The 2012 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress, prepared by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, estimates there were 62,619 homeless Veterans on a single night in January in the United States, a 7.2 percent decline since 2011 and a 17.2 percent decline since 2009. As part of President Obama’s and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki’s five-year plan to eliminate Veteran homelessness in 2015, VA has committed significant resources to strengthen programs that prevent and treat the many issues that can lead to Veteran homelessness.

The annual Knee – Wittman Award recognizes an individual or group that has made a significant impact on national health public policy, professional standards, or program models.

“It's an honor to be recognized by the National Association of Social Workers," said Pape. "I work with a remarkable team across the country that shares the critical mission of helping homeless Veterans get off the street and lead successful, independent lives.”

Pape, who resides in Maryland, was selected for the award by a panel of social work leaders. The award is named for legendary social workers Ruth Knee and Milton Wittman, who guided the development of social policy and standards. The National Association of Social Workers Foundation is the largest social work member organization in the world. Pape is also the recipient of a meritorious service award from the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, Service to America Medals citizen services award and various other departmental and industry awards.

The National Call Center for Homeless Veterans is available 24/7 to provide linkages to VA homeless program staff nationwide that can assist homeless and at risk Veterans with VA and community referrals and assistance. The toll free number to reach the National Call Center is 1877- 4AID VET or 1877-424-3838.