Awards of Merit for Housing Assistance

The Need

  • California has the largest veteran population in the nation.  With approximately 1.86 million veterans, California has nearly 9% of the nation’s veterans.
  • According to the California Research Bureau[1] approximately 10% of California’s veterans are women.
  • Women veterans are between two and four times as likely to be homeless as their nonveteran counterparts[2] and 10% (compared to 15% of nonveterans) live below the poverty line.[3]
  • Women veteran headed households were more likely to be cost burdened.  For example, 82% of women veteran headed households with extremely low incomes were cost burdened compared to 59% of married veteran households.

The Program

Housing on Merit recognized the urgent need to reduce the number of women veterans experiencing homelessness in California.  HOM collected information related to barriers, opportunities, and trends in homelessness among female veterans in order to understand their needs, access to resources, and gaps in funding sources.  After completing this extensive research, HOM launched the Awards of Merit for Housing Assistance.  The program provides funds to women veterans facing homelessness in order to remove barriers to permanent housing.

In 2016, HOM partnered with Courage to Call to identify women veterans most in need for housing assistance. With their help we are able to award subsequent funds to reduce the number of women veterans facing homelessness in San Diego. Housing on Merit has also partnered with Team AMVETS to help veterans in our program get settled into their new homes.

Welcoming Our Heroes Home is Housing on Merit’s fundraising initiative to support our Awards of Merit Program. Watch Paula’s story and consider donating to make housing a reality for all women veterans facing homelessness in San Diego.

April Adair and Paula Anderson received an Award of Merit for Housing Assistance in 2015. Watch their success stories below!


Next Steps

HOM will continue to award subsequent Awards of Merit for Housing Assistance, which are possible due to the individual contributions of people who care.  Your donations help us ensure that formerly homeless women veterans maintain housing stability and fully integrate into their communities.  Contributions are tax deductible as Housing on Merit is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation.  Housing on Merit’s Tax ID# 45-2991692

Donate now to HOM’s Awards of Merit “because when a veteran comes home kissing the ground, it is unacceptable that he or she should ever have to sleep on it.” – Former First Lady Michelle Obama


[1] Overview of Veterans in California, California Research Bureau, March 2013

[2] Veterans and Homelessness, Congressional Research Services, Libby Perl, November 29, 2013.

[3] Housing Instability among Our Nation’s Veteran’s, National Low Income Housing Coalition, November 2013.