Cohen: VA Announces New Grants to Help End Veterans Homelessness
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today announced that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has awarded nearly $100 million in grants to help approximately 42,000 homeless and at-risk Veterans and their families. The grants are going to 151 community agencies in 49 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
“Homelessness among veterans is a major concern in Memphis and throughout America,” said Congressman Cohen. “These grants will help veterans keep their homes and provide them with the help they need to secure benefits and public assistance to help them and their families.”
Under the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program, VA is awarding grants to private non-profit organizations and consumer cooperatives that provide services to very low-income Veteran families living in -- or transitioning to -- permanent housing. Those community organizations provide a range of services that promote housing stability among eligible very low income Veteran families.
Under the grants, homeless providers will offer Veterans and their family members outreach, case management, assistance in obtaining VA benefits and assistance in getting other public benefits. Community-based groups can offer temporary financial assistance on behalf of Veterans for rent payments, utility payments, security deposits and moving costs.
This is the program’s second year. Last year, VA provided about $60 million to assist 22,000 Veterans and family members. In 2009, President Obama and VA Secretary Shinseki announced the federal government’s goal to end Veteran homelessness by 2015. The grants are intended to help accomplish that goal. According to the 2011 Annual Homelessness Assessment Report to Congress, homelessness among Veterans has declined 12 percent since January 2010.
Through the homeless Veterans initiative, VA committed $800 million in FY 2011 to strengthen programs that prevent and end homelessness among Veterans. VA provides a range of services to homeless Veterans, including health care, housing, job training, and education.
More information about VA’s homeless programs is available on the Internet at www.va.gov/homeless. Details about the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program are online at www.va.gov/homeless/ssvf.asp.