VA Funds Wyoming Agency in Battle to End Homelessness

By: Jeremy Downing
By: Jeremy Downing
VA Initiative Targets 115,000 Homeless and At-Risk Vets and Families Nationwide

Army veteran Barry Coates, 44, is dying of cancer because a simple medical procedure was delayed at several Veterans Affairs facilities, including William Jennings Bryan Dorn VA medical center in Columbia, South Carolina. (CNN)

WYOMING - Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald announced today the award of $1,393,952 in a homeless prevention grant to the Wyoming counties of: Lincoln, Sublette, Sweetwater, Teton, Uinta, Carbon, Albany, Laramie, Natrona, Sheridan and Fremont. The grant will be services through the Southwest Wyoming Recovery Access Program (SWRAP). The moneys will be used to 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 SWRAP, one of 301 community agencies in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands to receive a grant.

“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 has declined 24 percent since 2009.

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.


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