VA Awards Local Grants to Prevent and End Homelessness - Bay Pines VA Healthcare System
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Bay Pines VA Healthcare System

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VA Awards Local Grants to Prevent and End Homelessness

September 16, 2015

Flexible Grants Are Helping Lower Rates of Veteran Homelessness in Southwest Florida

BAY PINES, FL – Hundreds of low-income Veteran families in southwest Florida, who are permanently housed or transitioning to permanent housing, will have access to crucial services with the award of approximately  $9.3 million in grants under the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program.

SSVF funding, which supports outreach, case management and other flexible assistance to prevent Veteran homelessness or rapidly rehouse Veterans who become homeless, went to 286 nonprofits and consumer cooperatives in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.   Locally, four organizations operating in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Lee, Manatee, Pasco and Pinellas received grants under the program. 

Grantees within the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System (VAHCS) service area include:  Jewish Family & Children's Service of Sarasota-Manatee, Inc.; American Red Cross, Lee County Chapter; Society of St. Vincent de Paul, South Pinellas, Inc.; and the Community Coalition on Homelessness Corporation.  A full list of grantees is available at http://www.va.gov/HOMELESS/ssvf/docs/SSVF_Awards_List_Final_September14.pdf

“The SSVF program is one way we are able to promote housing stability among the most economically vulnerable Veterans and their families,” said Suzanne M. Klinker, Director, Bay Pines VAHCS. 

“This program enables our community partners to provide the combination of services required to prevent Veterans and their loved ones from becoming homeless and rapidly rehouse those who become homeless,” she said.

SSFV grantees typically serve Veterans with incomes below 30 percent of the area median income.  Grantees must follow the housing first approach, which centers on permanently housing homeless Veterans quickly without preconditions and providing supportive services as needed.  Additional SSVF requirements are that grantees engage in outreach to find and serve Veterans in need, provide Veterans with case management and assist them in obtaining VA and other public benefits.

Nationally, SSVF served 127,829 participants in fiscal year (FY) 2014 and is on track to serve 135,000 Veterans and their family members by the end of FY 2015. Across the Bay Pines service area, the program has served more than 500 Veterans and their loved ones in FY 2015.

Today’s grant recipients successfully competed for renewal grants under a February 3, 2015, Notice of Funding Availability.   Applications were due March 17, 2015.   The funding announced today will support SSVF services in FY 2016, which starts October 1, 2015, and ends September 30, 2016.

To learn more about SSVF, please visit www.va.gov/homeless/ssvf.asp.

About the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System
The Bay Pines VAHCS is one of the nation’s leading VA healthcare systems, employing more than 4,000 medical professionals and support staff dedicated to providing the very best care to Veterans residing in southwest Florida. The organization is the fourth busiest VA health care system in the country in terms of patients served and is accredited by The Joint Commission, Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, and several other nationally recognized accrediting organizations. The Bay Pines VAHCS operates nine facilities to include the main medical center located in Bay Pines and outpatient clinics located in Bradenton, Cape Coral, Naples, Palm Harbor, Port Charlotte, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, and Sebring. To learn more, please visit www.baypines.va.gov or like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/vabaypines.