The Devil’s in the Detail

by Freddy Groves


The Department of Veterans Affairs has issued a Notice of Funds

Availability (NOFA) to provide transitional housing and support services

to veterans with special needs. A $5 million grant will go to 25

organizations (if they reapply for funding) in 11 states to provide

housing services to veterans who are women, frail elderly, terminally ill,

chronically mentally ill or who care for minor dependents.


Eligible programs must provide up to 24 months of housing or services,

such as case management, crisis intervention, counseling and so on. The

goal, quoting from the news release, is to help “homeless veterans achieve

residential stability, increase their skill levels and income, and gain

greater self-determination.”


Sounds great, but the fine print is confusing. A notice in the Federal

Register outlines the details. Here are some of the services provided:

* Frail elderly are to receive services for safety, opportunities to stay

mentally and physically agile, walkers or other necessary devices, and

monitoring of medications.


* The terminally ill program will help address end of life issues, provide

transition and closure actions, and provide legal counsel and pain



* For the chronically mentally ill, it will help participants engage with

the community, facilitate reintegration and ensure opportunities to re-
establish relationships with family.


* For those who care for minor dependents, the program will provide

transportation, offer referrals for child care and ensure health needs are

met, especially immunizations.


* For women, it will ensure transportation, especially for health and

education, and will address safety and security issues.

Doing the math, the $5 million could give $200,000 to each organization,

if divided evenly … except the fine print of the Federal Register notice

says that $3.5 million is expected to be made available.


Where’s the other $1.5 million?


Freddy Groves regrets that he cannot personally answer reader questions,

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


(c) 2014 King Features Synd., Inc.

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