Veterans Affairs funds local agencies to help fight homelessness

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Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald announced Monday the award of $2.1 million in homeless prevention grants to the counties of Honolulu, Central Oahu, Leeward Coast, North Shore, Windward Coast, Kapolei, Maui, Kauai, and Hawaii Island.

The grants will serve approximately 491 homeless and at-risk veteran families as part of the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program.

This award will serve veteran families associated with Catholic Charities Hawaii and United States Veterans Initiative, two of 301 community agencies in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands to receive grants.

As part of the SSVF program, VA awards 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 terms of the grants, homeless providers will offer veterans and their family members outreach, case management, assistance in obtaining VA benefits and assistance in receiving 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.

The VA estimates these grants will serve approximately 115,000 homeless and at-risk veteran families nationwide. This is the program’s fourth year.

More information about VA’s homeless programs is available at www.va.gov/homeless.  Details about the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program are online at www.va.gov/homeless/ssvf.asp.

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