OMAHA, Neb.-- Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald announced the award of $2,793,902 in homeless prevention grants to several Nebraska and western Iowa counties. The grants will serve homeless and at-risk veteran families as part of the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program.
This award will serve veteran families associated with the following agencies, which are just a few of 301 community agencies in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands to receive a grant:
-Together, Inc. of Metropolitan Omaha, $262,140, Sarpy and Douglas counties, Neb., and Pottawattamie County, Iowa
-Central Nebraska Community Services (Loup City, Neb.), $194,530, Adams, Buffalo, Blaine, Boone, Brown, Boyd, Cherry, Colfax, Custer, Garfield, Greeley, Hall, Hamilton, Holt, Howard, Keya Paha, Loop, Merrick, Nance, Platte, Rock, Sherman, Valley and Wheeler counties, Neb.
-Northeast Nebraska Community Action Partnership (Pender, Neb.), $203,001, Antelope, Burt, Cedar, Cuming, Dakota, Dixon, Dodge, Knox, Madison, Pierce, Stanton, Thurston, Washington and Wayne counties, Neb., and Tribal Lands Winnebago, Omaha and Santee reservations.
-Blue Valley Community Action, Inc. (Fairbury, Neb.), $134,231, Butler, Fillmore, Gage, Jefferson, Polk, Saline, Seward, Thayer and York counties, Neb.
-Southwest Wyoming Recovery Access programs (Green River, Wyo.), $2,000,000, Banner, Box Butte, Cheyenne, Dawes, Kimball, Morrill, Scottsbluff and Sioux counties, Neb.
“By working with community non-profit organizations, we have enlisted valuable partners in our fight to end homelessness,” McDonald said. “The work of SSVF grantees has already helped thousands of homeless Veterans and their families find homes and thousands more have been able to stay in their own homes.”
As part of the SSVF program, VA awards grants to private non-profit organizations and consumer cooperatives that provide services to very low-income veteran families living in – or transitioning to – permanent housing. Those community organizations provide a range of services that promote housing stability among eligible very low-income Veteran families.
Under the terms of the grants, homeless providers will offer veterans and their family members outreach, case management, assistance in obtaining VA benefits and assistance in receiving other public benefits. Community-based groups can offer temporary financial assistance on behalf of veterans for rent payments, utility payments, security deposits and moving costs.
VA estimates these grants will serve approximately 115,000 homeless and at-risk veteran families nationwide. This is the program’s fourth year.
In 2009, President Obama announced the federal government’s goal to end veteran homelessness by 2015. The grants are intended to help accomplish that goal. According to the 2013 point-in-time estimates of homelessness, homelessness among Veterans declined 24 percent since 2009.
In Nebraska, homelessness amongst veterans has declined more than 50 percent.
Through the homeless veterans’ initiative, VA committed over $1 billion last year to strengthen programs that prevent and end homelessness among veterans. VA provides a range 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 at www.va.gov/homeless/ssvf.asp.