Google +LinkedInPinterestYouTubeInstagramTwitterFacebook

Grants to help end veteran homelessness

Featured in Homeless Veterans, General News
Grants to help end veteran homelessness

At The American Legion’s 2009 national convention in Louisville, then newly appointed Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki vowed that he and the Obama administration would end homelessness among military veterans in five years – by the end of 2015.

Formal rollout of the campaign was announced about two months after the Legion convention. Components of the plan included making supportive services available to low income veterans and their families, along with homelessness prevention measures, including the easing of access to employment and higher education as well as addressing health concerns with an emphasis on mitigating substance abuse. Also key to that early effort was the encouragement of community-based transition assistance utilizing temporary housing and rehabilitation programs.

Today, more than halfway through the five year campaign, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and its partner government agencies, such as the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), have turned their attention to giving vulnerable veterans access to affordable, permanent housing when appropriate, rather than temporary quarters. But housing, whether temporary or permanent and maintained by community, private or government entities, is costly to acquire and maintain.

To help meet that challenge, Secretary Shinseki recently announced that current providers of housing for homeless veterans can apply for rehabilitation funds in the form of grants to improve facilities physically, as well as enhance the housing’s safety, security and useful life. VA said about $22 million has been set aside for this purpose. Each rehabilitation grant award cannot exceed $250,000 and cannot represent more than 65 percent of the total cost of the rehab project.

Also according to VA, approximately $2 million in funds are being made available to current providers to help acquire vans for the transportation of veterans to medical appointments, job interviews and the like, as well as facilitate outreach activities. As in the housing rehabilitation program, VA’s grant will not exceed 65 percent of the total cost of each van, and is limited to a maximum of $35,000.

Mark Walker, the Legion’s deputy economic director, reacted favorably to news of the new VA effort. "We applaud the VA for providing these additional grants," he said. "They can materially assist the agency in its five-year plan to eliminate veteran homelessness.

"The elimination of veteran homelessness is a worthy and reachable endeavor. (But) in order for that to happen, VA must to listen to their private sector partners and other stakeholders to learn of their challenges and ensure that funding and other necessary resources are available for homeless veterans and their families. The provision of these new grants is a welcome indication that VA is listening and is sensitive to its partners’ needs."

 

More in Homeless Veterans

 

Warren Hixson

August 26, 2014 - 11:57am

Our company in Memphis,Tennessee are trying to get the VA or other orginization to finance a 75 unit single family home complex for homeless veterans or if we can build duplexs which will provide a community of 150 homeless vets contact me at with comments or information to get this completed God bless my Brother and Sister Vets and famalies.

abbe pabon

September 29, 2013 - 10:45am

ps- my Section 8 subsidy runs out Oct1, I have no home internet access, of course. on $255 a month (service connection disability increase is being sought as we speak!) and NO FOOD STAMPS, who can afford it?

abbe pabon

September 29, 2013 - 10:42am

I am a female disabled veteran-the first female member of Verplanck American Legion post in the whole history of our post, in fact. I had asked for information on how to report Montrose VA for failing to adhere to FEDERAL HUD RULES and HUD VASH RULES and got nowhere but HOMELESS. Their program is to prevent homelessness, and me AND every vet in the program are told that after ONE YEAR of "case management", our Section 8 will become regular Section 8 and we can live peacefully without intervention from VA. WHAT A LIE!! ALMOST 2 YEARS I PUT UP WITH THEIR ABUSE, which began with them INSISTING I take a 2nd floor apartment with the promise(never fulfilled!) that they would help me move to ground floor after a year. They isolated me from my friends in 3 locations, instead dumping me in Verplanck where I knew NO ONE. I went from having a simple cloth brace on right knee and being able to walk 2-3 miles a day to now having a heavy hinged brace right knee, brace for left knee on order, orthopedic shoes&supports, back support, and using crutches, barely able to even get downstairs, and I am now VITAMIN DEFICIENT, living on $255 a month&VA REFUSED to help me get food stamps. I protested. EVERYONE says "just sign a new contract". WHY? My contract expired OVER A YEAR AGO yet I can't be free of it, to enjoy my apartment under regular Section 8 and let my new friends move me downstairs so I can utilize the electric scooter my American Legion got donated to me. Everyone says it "isn't a real contract". Everyone basically thinks I should continue to let HUD VASH write outright LIES in my records and continue neglecting me, calling me repeatedly on a prepaid phone at 10cents per minute, refusing to put appointments in as OFFICIAL APPOINTMENTS so I can get travel pay, refusing to write me lunch passes so I have to spend all day at VA, vitamin deficient, with NO FOOD, causing me to have to be on high blood pressure pills due to their neglect of me....OR I have to give up the support I have in the community & be homeless in a county which has NO DISABLED-COMPLIANT SHELTERS!! Emotional blackmail. And I had an appointment to sign a new contract with provision that HUD VASH move me DOWNSTAIRS so FEDERAL HUD REGULATION that there must be provisions for disabled to enjoy common areas of building, ie-backyard. I had a WITNESS from SENATOR BALL'S OFFICE THERE. HUD VASH NEVER called me to make appointment, someone else moved into that apartment, and HUD VASH claims that I AND Bthis rep from SENATOR BALL&PURPLE HEARTS NEVER SHOWED UP FOR THE MEETING yet it was NEVER SCHEDULED. Since I am a FEMALE NON-PURPLE HEART DISABLED VET, what has this rep of SENATOR BALL done? Try to force me to sign another contract with NO PROVISION of my getting a safe, DISABLED COMPLIANT apartment, no recourse to correct HUD VASH lies in my record, no going to VA director to protest them putting me in the streets when I have fulfilled everything I was supposed to do. HUD VASH refused to make home visits yet they are writing reports each month claiming contact with me so they get their funding. They want it BOTH WAYS. I want them to fulfil their promise to me and a slew of vets in their program who are lied to, and just GIVE US OUR REGULAR SECTION 8 AFTER OUR YEAR OF CASE MANAGEMENT IS UP!! WHO do I complain to about their noncompliance with their own program? Who does Montrose AND Bronx Va answer to in this program? 42 minutes at 10cents a minute on vet homeless hotline got me a number "to the VA headquarters in Washington DC"- which was a VA HOSPITAL IN WASH DC!!! I cannot get ANY CONTACTS WHO CAN TELL ME WHO I NEED TO TALK TO!! Senator Ball's assistant who is also Purple Heart high-up muckymuck tells me "SENATOR BALL will not see you, he won't care" and just cuts me off from him, wouldn't give me contact in Congress, VA Wash DC oversight of Montrose?Bronx Division. WHAT DO I DO?

marksteuber

July 14, 2013 - 4:57am

with a president obummer who spends 100 million dollars to visit where he was born Kenya. what could be done to stop this atrocity and help our homeless vets, people, children, as well as feed a few hungry folks in our country USA????

Add new comment

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.

Tell us what you think