WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has announced a new program designed to deliver help to low-income veterans and their families who are at risk of being homeless.
"There is no reason for any veteran to be homeless in this country – yet there are 131,000 veterans living homeless in today," said Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki. Shinseki promised to pursue an ambitious goal of ending homelessness for veterans within 5 years. The Skanner News Video.
The Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program will provide grants to private non-profit organizations and consumer cooperatives that will help break the cycle of homelessness among America's Veterans at risk.
"Ending homelessness for veterans and their families will require all segments of our communities to work together," said First Lady Michelle Obama. "I am pleased this new program will help more local organizations support them when they need it most."
The program will deliver grants to community agencies for vocational and rehabilitation counseling, employment and training service, educational assistance; and health care services.
Agencies will also provide direct financial assistance for daily living, transportation, child care, rent and utilities and other expenses. Agencies may also propose funding for additional services in their supportive services grant application based on the specific needs of their communities and local Veterans.
"This new program will provide valuable new tools in our campaign to end homelessness among Veterans and their families," said Secretary Shinseki. "Partnering with homeless agencies across this country, we will attack the problems that underlie homelessness and, for the first time, fund services for the spouses and children of homeless Veterans."
By mid-December, VA officials will provide local agencies with the instructions necessary to apply for grants under the program.