July 12, 2013
BAY PINES, Fla. – Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki announced on July 11 the award of nearly $5.3 million in homeless prevention grants to the Florida counties of: Charlotte, Collier, Desoto, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Pinellas and Sarasota.
The grants will serve approximately 1,260 homeless and at-risk Veteran families as part of the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program. The awards will serve Veterans families associated with the following grant recipients: Society of St. Vincent de Paul, South Pinellas, Inc.; Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Sarasota-Manatee, Inc.; American Red Cross, Lee County Chapter; Clark's House, Inc.; and the Community Coalition on Homelessness Corporation.
These six organizations are part of the 319 community agencies in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands who received SSVF grants. Nationally, nearly $300,000 million was committed to help approximately 120,000 at-risk Veterans and families.
"With these grants, we are strengthening our partnership with community non-profits across the country to provide Veterans and their families with hope, a home, and a future," said Shinseki. "The work of Supportive Services for Veteran Families program grantees has already helped us prevent and end homelessness among tens of thousands of homeless Veterans and their families, but as long as a single Veteran lives on our streets, we have work to do."
Under the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) 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.
Thanks to the SSVF grants, those community organizations will provide a range of services that promote housing stability and play a key role in connecting Veterans and their family members to VA services such as mental health care and other 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 third year. Last year, VA provided about $100 million to assist approximately 50,000 Veterans and family members.
In 2009, President Obama and Secretary Shinseki announced the federal government's goal to end Veteran homelessness in 2015. The grants are intended to help accomplish that goal. According to the 2012 Point-in-Time Estimates of Homelessness, homelessness among Veterans has declined 17.2 percent since 2009.
Through the homeless Veterans initiative, VA committed over $1 billion in fiscal year 2013 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 at www.va.gov/homeless. Details about the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program are online at www.va.gov/homeless/ssvf.asp. Veterans who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, and their family members and friends can call VA’s National Homeless Veterans Call Center at 1-877-4AID-VET.