VA Awards $3 Million in grants to end CSRA homelessness - Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center
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Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center

 

VA Awards $3 Million in grants to end CSRA homelessness

August 31, 2016

AUGUSTA, Ga. (Aug. 31, 2016) – The VA has awarded more than $3 million in grants to help prevent Veterans and their families from becoming homeless in counties within the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center catchment area.

The grants are part of more than approximately $300 million more in grants awarded by the VA nationwide under the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program to help thousands of very low income Veteran families around the nation who are permanently housed or transitioning to permanent housing. The SSVF grant program provides access to crucial services to prevent homelessness for Veterans and their families.

“These grants are important as we continue to work with community partners on solutions for homeless Veterans,” said Dr. Douglas C. Huntt, chief of social work service for VA Augusta. “Every Veteran we prevent from falling into homelessness or rehouse means the community partnerships are working and that we’ve done the right thing for our most vulnerable Veteran population.”

In the CNVAMC catchment area, the VA awarded grants to Central Savannah River Area Economic Opportunity Authority, Inc. ($1.06 million), and One-Eighty Place ($2.02 million).

SSVF funding, which supports outreach, case management and other flexible assistance to prevent Veteran homelessness or rapidly re-house Veterans who become homeless, has been awarded to 275 non-profit organizations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  These grants, key elements of VA’s implementation of the Housing First Strategy, enable vulnerable Veterans to secure or remain in permanent housing.  A list of SSVF grantees is located at www.va.gov/homeless/ssvf.asp

“Since 2010, the Housing First Strategy has helped cut Veteran Homelessness nearly in half,” said VA Secretary Robert A. McDonald.  “Housing First is why 360,000 Veterans and family members have been housed, rehoused or prevented from falling into homelessness over the last five years. SSVF helps homeless Veterans quickly find stable housing and access the supportive services they – and their families – need.”

Grantees will continue to provide eligible Veteran families with outreach, case management, and assistance obtaining VA and other benefits, which may include health care, income support services, financial planning, child care, legal services, transportation, housing counseling, among other services. 

Grantees are expected to leverage supportive services grant funds to enhance the housing stability of very low-income Veteran families who are occupying permanent housing.  In doing so, grantees are required to establish relationships with local community resources.

In fiscal year 2015, SSVF served more than 157,000 participants and is on track to exceed that number in FY 2016.  As a result of these and other efforts, Veteran homelessness is down 47 percent since the launch of the Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness in 2010.  Also since 2010, more than 360,000 Veterans and their family members have been permanently housed, rapidly re-housed, or prevented from falling into homelessness by VA’s homelessness programs and targeted housing vouchers provided by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.  Today’s grant recipients successfully competed for grants under a Jan. 15, 2016, Notice of Fund Availability.  Applications were due Feb. 5, 2016.  The funding will support SSVF services in FY 2017, which starts Oct. 1 and ends Sept. 30, 2017.