Photo by the Associated Press
GAINESVILLE, Fla.-Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric K. Shinseki announced the award of approximately $5.5 million in homeless prevention grants to the North Florida and South Georgia Veterans Health System.
Under the Supportive Services for Veteran Families, VA is awarding grants to 319 community agencies in the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, including the Salvation Army, Emergency Services and Homeless Coalition of Jacksonville, Inc., and Family Endeavors.
The award will serve approximately 2,800 homeless and at-risk Veteran families associated with these private non-profit organizations and consumer cooperatives that provide a range of services.
"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 future," Shinseki said. "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."
Thanks to the SSVF grants, the agencies will play a key role in connecting Veterans, and their family members, to VA services such as mental health care and other benefits.
The community organizations promote housing stability among eligible, very low-income Veteran families and can offer temporary financial assistance on behalf of Veterans for rent payments, utility payments, security deposits, and moving costs.
The grants are intended to help accomplish the federal government's goal to end Veteran homelessness in 2015. According to the 2012 Point-in-Time Estimates of Homelessness, homelessness among Veterans has declined 17.2 percent since 2009, when President Obama and Secretary Shinseki's announced the goal.
Through the homeless Veterans initiative, VA committed over $1 billion in fiscal year 2013 to strengthen programs that prevent and end homelessness among Veterans.
Last year, VA provided about $100 million to assist approximately 50,000 Veterans and family members. VA provides a variety 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. 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.
Florida counties include:
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