Homeless Vets Get Big Boost in Aid

by Freddy Groves

 

The Department of Veterans Affairs has printed in the Federal Register its

intention to provide a record $300 million to address veteran homelessness

for both fiscal years 2014 and 2015. The money will go to non-profit

organizations in the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program that

work with homeless veterans and their families.

 

The list of areas where these groups provide assistance is lengthy: Moving

and relocation expenses, child care, rent and utilities for those who

are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, transportation, housing

counseling, advocating with property owners, security deposits and

emergency expenses. In 2013 alone, SSVF assisted 39,000 veterans and

62,000 veterans with families.

 

Once the veteran and his or her family are in permanent housing, the

program continues, assisting the veteran with medical care, benefits and

services, daily living, financial planning, legal services and more.

While veteran homelessness has declined by 24 percent since 2009, in

January 2013 there still were 57,849 homeless veterans on the street. More

than 7 percent of those veterans were women.

 

If your non-profit organization wants to qualify to provide support

services to homeless or very low-income veterans and their families, start

online at www.va.gov/homeless/ssvf.asp. There is a lengthy process to be

accepted into the program. You also can call 877-737-0111 or via email at

SSVF@va.gov. Work quickly because your application has to be received by

March 14, 2014. Grants are for three years and will begin Oct. 1, 2014.

 

If you’re a veteran who is homeless or at risk to be homeless,

call 1-877-424-3838 (4AIDVET). Someone will answer 24/7, and many of those who

respond are veterans themselves. For information about VA and DOD programs

for brain injury, go to www.dvbic.org

 

Freddy Groves regrets that he cannot personally answer reader questions,

but will incorporate them into his column whenever possible. Send email to

columnreply2@gmail.com.

 

(c) 2014 King Features Synd., Inc.

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