Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki announced Tuesday the award of $1.45 million in homeless prevention grants to the Ho-Chunk tribal lands and 20 counties in southeastern and central Wisconsin.
The grants will serve about 575 homeless and at-risk veteran families as part of the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program. These awards will serve veteran families associated with Center for Veterans Issues, Ltd., Veterans Assistance Foundation, Inc., and the Community Action Coalition for South Central Wisconsin.
“We are committed to ending veteran homelessness in America,” said Shinseki. “These grants will help VA and community organizations reach out and prevent at-risk veterans from losing their homes.”
Under the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program, VA is awarding 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.
Under the grants, homeless providers will offer veterans and their family members outreach, case management, assistance in obtaining VA benefits and assistance in getting 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.
About $1 million of the grant money is expected to go to the Center for Veterans Issues, which helps at-risk veterans throughout the state, including Milwaukee, Green Bay, Appleton, Kenosha, Racine, Tomah and Chippewa Falls, said director Ozzie Brodhead. He said his program helps a minimum of 450 veterans a year, whether it is veterans who are homeless and need immediate housing, or those at risk of facing eviction.
Veterans seeking help through CVI can call 414-345-4260.
VA estimates these grants will serve approximately 42,000 homeless and at-risk Veteran families nationwide. This is the program’s second year. Last year, VA provided about $60 million to assist 22,000 Veterans and family members.
According to the 2011 Annual Homelessness Assessment Report to Congress, homelessness among veterans has declined 12 percent since January 2010.
Through the homeless veterans initiative, VA committed $800 million in fiscal 2011 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 on the Internet at www.va.gov/homeless. Details about the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program are online at www.va.gov/homeless/ssvf.asp.