Washington, D.C. – Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva today highlighted $600 million in newly available grants being offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs to reduce and hopefully eliminate veteran homelessness across the country. The department is offering $300 million in fiscal year 2014 and $300 million in fiscal year 2015 in nationally competitive bid offers.
The grants will be awarded to non-profit organizations and consumer cooperatives that serve very low-income veteran families occupying permanent housing through the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program.You can learn more about that program, which focuses on reducing veteran homelessness, at http://1.usa.gov/Khj34I. SSVF efforts center on providing homeless veterans with permanent housing quickly and then providing VA health care, benefits and services as needed.
Applicants should provide outreach, case management, VA benefitassistance, and other services to the veteran community. Typical grantees secure a broad range of other services for participants, including legal assistance, credit counseling, housingcounseling, short-term assistance with rent, moving expenses, child care, transportation, utility costs, and emergency expenses.
“We hear a lot about how the government should get out of the way and let the free market take care of things,” Grijalva said. “Veteran homelessness is not an occasion for a bootstrap lecture. We made a promise to every man and woman who signed up, and it’s our proud government duty not to leave them hanging when they’re in need. These would be very welcome funds in the Southern Arizona community, and I encourage everyone who provides these services to apply as soon as possible.”
In November, the departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development announced the findings of the 2013 Point-in-Time Estimates of Homelessness, which estimated there were 57,849 homeless veterans around the country in January 2013. That figure represented an eight percent decline since 2012 and a 24 percent decline since 2010.