Building on President Obama’s commitment to end Veteran homelessness, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is announcing the availability of $300 million in grants to non-profit organizations and other groups that serve Veterans through VA’s Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program. The SSVF program assists very low-income Veteran families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. The $300 million grants are available to current grantees seeking renewals.
Announcement of the grants comes on the heels of the January agreement that dedicates the West Los Angeles VA campus to serving veterans in need, and commits the Department to design a plan to help end homelessness among Veterans in Los Angeles County. Additionally, a nationwide homeless 2015 Point in Time (PIT) Count took place last month, in which VA Secretary Robert A. McDonald and other VA officials spread out around the country to identify homeless Veterans. Last year’s PIT Count revealed that 49,993 Veterans were homeless on a single night representing a 33-percent decline in homelessness among Veterans since 2010. VA relies on strong, targeted collaborations in key areas at Federal and local levels and engages community partners to develop innovative and forward-thinking solutions that can lead to scalable and replicable models of service. In FY 2014 alone, through VA’s various homeless programs, nearly 70,000 Veterans and their family members were placed in permanent housing or prevented from becoming homeless under the SSVF program VA’s goal is to end Veteran homelessness by the end of 2015.
“One of the things you learn in the Army is you never leave a soldier behind,” said Secretary McDonald. “Unfortunately, we’ve left some people behind, and they’re our homeless Veterans. VA is committed to achieving the goal of ending Veteran homelessness, and we won’t rest until every homeless Veteran has a place to call home.”
VA most recently announced awards totaling $507 million in SSVF grants. Those funds included targeted support for 56 high-priority communities. VA is currently preparing to award an additional $93 million in SSVF funds for high-priority communities.
For more information about VA’s homeless programs, visit www.va.gov/homeless. The Federal Register notice of funding availability may be found at www.va.gov/HOMELESS/ssvf/docs/SSVF_NOFA_Feb3.pdf. Additional information about the SSVF program may be found at www.va.gov/homeless/ssvf.asp.