Bright Spot: Honolulu, HI | Integrating Grant and Per Diem (GPD) Programs

September 19, 2019

Meet with GPD agency-level leadership to hear their concerns about changing models or re-purposing VA transitional housing funding.

Check out this bright spot if…

  • The community’s GPD Programs emphasize clinical services
  • Community GPD Programs are not integrated into housing crisis response system
  • You have GPD Program in your community and want to try it!


U.S. VETS has over 10 sites across the continental US and Hawai’i in which they decided to make strategic shifts towards being increasingly housing-focused and client-centered in providing support. At a high level, the organization decided to define specific program tracks that would be available to veterans entering their GPD beds. Though each of these tracks had a different focus (i.e. clinical treatment, bridge housing) they were all designed to be focused on housing.

U.S. VETS worked to develop a housing-focused GPD model that includes bridge housing for a portion of their beds. They now see all beds as a bridge to permanent housing and have created staffing structures and processes to ensure that exiting to permanent housing remains a focus for the veteran throughout their stay.

Key Action: Take Gpd Staff into consideration

U.S. Vets divided staff roles between those whose primary focus was supporting veterans to secure permanent housing and those providing clinical, employment and other kinds of support services. In hiring new staff, they paid special attention to identifying those candidates that understood and agreed with a housing-focused approach to their work.
For those staff members concerned about shifting to a more housing-focused model in mixed congregant settings in which there were veterans actively in recovery programs alongside others who were not maintaining sobriety, U.S. Vets created structures like “house meetings” to navigate and resolve tensions that could arise.

Key Action: Housing-focused Messaging

From program entry regardless of program track, GPD was framed in terms of helping veterans to secure permanent housing as a primary goal. Additionally, if veterans chose a track with a clinical service component, they had equal access to all housing support available through the Bridge Housing track.

Fail Forward Moments

  • U.S. VETS recognized that for many programs, converting to a new model required a shift in culture and mindset. Some programs did not make these shifts as quickly as other, and required more support to make changes.
  • Some veterans became accustomed to the sense of community and in-house support at the GPD program. Once they moved out of the program into their own permanent housing, they continued to depend on the program for ongoing support. U.S. VETS started thinking how they could be more intentional about connecting a veteran to community-based or natural supports outside of U.S. VETS.

Want more information?

Email Kim Cook ( at U.S. VETS in Honolulu, Hawai’i.