July 20, 2012
Veterans raise the flag at the Houston Domiciliary Care for Homeless Veterans, a 40-bed VA domiciliary residence for homeless Veterans.
PHOTO: Bobbi Gruner
The Department of Veterans Affairs announced yesterday the award of almost $2 million in homeless prevention grants for Veterans in Harris, Ft. Bend, and Montgomery Counties.
The grants will serve approximately 620 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 The Salvation Army and Goodwill Industries of Houston, Inc., two of 151 community agencies in 49 states and the District of Columbia to receive a grant.
The Salvation Army, a Georgia Corporation, will receive $988,729 and plans to serve approximately 220 participant households in Harris, Fort Bend, and Montgomery Counties. Goodwill Industries of Houston, Inc. will receive $1 million and plans to serve approximately 400 participant households in the Greater Houston Metro Area.
“We are committed to ending Veteran homelessness in America,” said Bryan T. Bayley, M.H.A., F.A.C.H.E., acting director of the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center. “These grants will help the DeBakey VA and our community partners reach out and prevent at-risk Veterans from losing their homes.”
Under the Supportive Services for Veteran Families 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 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.
Less than 15 percent of all homeless adults in the United States are Veterans. VA’s efforts have contributed to a significant reduction in the numbers of homeless Veterans. Although many homeless Veterans served in combat and suffer from PTSD; at this time, epidemiologic studies do not suggest that there is a causal connection between military service, service in Vietnam, or exposure to combat and homelessness among Veterans. Rather than military service, family background, access to support from family and friends, and various personal characteristics seem to be the stronger indicators of risk of homelessness.
VA is the only federal agency that provides substantial hands-on assistance directly to homeless Veterans. VA's major homeless programs constitute the largest integrated network of homeless assistance programs in the country, offering a wide array of services to help Veterans recover from homelessness and live as self-sufficiently and independently as possible.
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 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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