Congressman Panetta Legislation for Legal Services for Homeless Veterans Advances Out of Key Committee

October 16, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee passed Congressman Jimmy Panetta’s (CA-20) bipartisan legislation, the Legal Services for Homeless Veterans Act, H.R.3749, recommending the legislation for a vote in the full U.S. House of Representatives.

"Accessing legal aid should not be an added hoop to jump through for veterans struggling with or on the brink of homelessness.  It is essential that Congress ensure that our veterans are properly supported," said Congressman Panetta.  "The Legal Services for Homeless Veterans Act provides veterans, and supportive and surrounding organizations, the resources necessary to help them resolve legal issues and get back on their feet so that they can get back to being an integral part of our community and country."

"We must do more to get our veterans off the streets and into affordable housing so that they can live in dignity and comfort," said Congressman Cisneros (CA-39), a member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee who helped to advance the bill.  "Solving veteran homelessness requires a comprehensive approach, and I was proud to join Congressman Panetta to ensure our veterans are able to receive the legal services and assistance they need, including women veterans who are unfortunately the fastest-growing segment of the homeless veteran population. We must serve those who have served us, and this legislation will help veterans successfully transition back into our communities."

The Legal Services for Homeless Veterans Act directs the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to provide grants to organizations that provide legal services to homeless veterans and veterans at risk for homelessness.  The legislation would help provide assistance for legal services including helping veterans with outstanding warrants or fines, child support matters, and license revocations, as well as specific assistance for women veterans and their families.

Original cosponsors of the bill include fellow veteran members of the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Gilbert R. Cisneros, Jr., Congressman Greg Steube (FL-17), Congressman Brian Mast (FL-18), Congressman Don Bacon (NE-02), and Congressman Mike Waltz (FL-06).  The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans and the American Bar Association have endorsed this legislation. 

Watch today’s Committee hearing here.