Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas

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More Funds for Homeless Veterans (Families) Prevention Initiative

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Homeless Family

Homeless Family

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

HOUSTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs announced yesterday the additional award of more than $820,000 to two non-profit community agencies in southeast Texas that will serve approximately 270 homeless and at-risk Veteran families as part of the new Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program.

“This new homeless prevention program will provide new hope and comprehensive support to Veterans who have served honorably, but now find themselves in a downward spiral toward despair and homelessness,” said Adam C. Walmus, M.H.A., M.A., F.A.C.H.E., director of the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center.  “This program expands our capacity to act before a Veteran becomes homeless and to target the problem of family homelessness. These grants would not have been possible without the extraordinary partnerships forged with community organizers who are firmly committed to making a positive difference in lives of Veterans and their families.”  

The SSVF Program, a critical element of VA’s plan to prevent and end homelessness among Veterans, will promote housing stability among homeless and at-risk Veterans and their families.  Under the SSVF program, VA awards grants to private non-profit organizations and consumer cooperatives that can provide a range of supportive services to eligible very low-income Veteran families.  Supportive services include outreach, case management, assistance in obtaining VA benefits, and assistance in obtaining and coordinating other public benefits.  Grantees will also have the ability to make time-limited temporary financial assistance payments on behalf of Veterans for purposes such as rent payments, utility payments, security deposits, and moving costs.  

The Housing Corporation of Greater Houston will receive $420,000 to serve about 120 participant households in Harris and Galveston Counties. Career and Recovery Resources, Inc. will receive $400,000 to serve approximately 150 participant households in Harris County.

About one-third of the adult homeless population has served their country in the Armed Services. Current population estimates suggest that about 107,000 Veterans (male and female) are homeless on any given night and perhaps twice as many experience homelessness at some point during the course of a year. Many other Veterans are considered near homeless or at risk because of their poverty, lack of support from family and friends, and dismal living conditions in cheap hotels or in overcrowded or substandard housing.

If you know a Veteran who needs assistance, please call 1-877-4AID VET (877-424-3838) or the Health Care for Homeless Veterans Program at 713-794-7848. More information about VA’s homeless programs is available online at http://www.va.gov/homeless.

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