LVMAC Tidbit: VA Social Worker Help Wanted in the Lehigh Valley Homeless Community!

Published by Rich Hudzinski on

Want to make an impact on the lives of others in our Lehigh Valley community?  To help those who once served us?  The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is in dire need of caring social workers to work from its Allentown Outpatient Clinic.  The Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center is looking for a worker for its Homeless Veterans (HCHV) and workers for its Supportive Housing using HUD vouchers (HUD/VASH)) programs.  It has had difficulty finding the right people and the vacancies are affecting the VA’s efforts to significantly reduce homeless in the Greater Lehigh Valley area.  It is a particular shame because the local VA was one of the original pilot test sites for addressing veterans homelessness.  After, all the VA has been a leader — if not the leader — in tackling chronic homelessness; and, of late, in preventing it.

The Health Care for Homeless Veteran (HCHV) Social Worker provides outreach and case management services to military veterans literally experiencing homelessness or are at imminent risk of it.  This social worker pounds the pavements, conducting outreach to community locations and helping other nonprofits to identify and enroll eligible veterans into VA Health Care for service.  This position provides the start point for a “get-well” schema to remedy the homelessness of the individual.  The Veterans Health Administration has been assigned overall responsibility in the VA.  As implied, this is the position meant to bring other government and nonprofit organizations together in our community to tackle and solve the problem when it comes to veterans

The HUD/VASH Social Worker position provides case management for homeless, disabled veterans under the VA’s Permanent Housing Program, which uses Housing Choice vouchers from HUD.  The program operates using a Housing First model.  The intent is to bring a disabled veteran to a life of independence.  A permanent home is the first step.

As a minimum, a MSW from an accredited school is required to be hired as a GS 9.  A license then must be obtained within three (3) years of appointment to be retained. The standard qualification is typically an LSW with 1 year of experience to be hired as a GS 11.

The way most apply for a federal position is through various job sites.  The VA has its own: That site also devotes special effort to hiring veterans.

However, there is another way called “direct hire” that sometimes is in order.  This is one of those situations. Therefore, the Chief of Social Work Services, Crystal Arcarese, is more than willing to take applications directly.  Provide her at a resume, a copy of your social work license, and a VA Form 10-285C application.

If interested, might want to visit one of their hiring fairs at the hospital complex on the second floor.  We hear that one might have been arranged for February 21-24 period.  Inquire of that also.

But if you insist on a less personalized way of applying for the HCHV position, try the recent and short-lived USAJobs announcement.  For this position, they apparently want to hire at the GS 11 level.


As of 11 February 2024
Updated: 22 Feb (USAJobs announcement)