VA will provide millions of dollars next year to fight veteran homelessness

Matt Saintsing
August 31, 2018 - 12:37 pm

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Looking to shrink veteran homelessness, the VA will provide $200 million for thousands of community-based temporary beds for those in need, the agency recently announced. 

Through the Grant and Per Diem Program, VA will award $2.7 million to renew 12 special need grants to support services for women vets, those with chronic mental illnesses and veterans who have dependents under age 18. It's estimated the funding will sustain more than 13,000 “transitional housing beds.” 

 “The Grant and Per Diem program give our homeless Veterans an important source of support,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “We appreciate the U.S. Congress providing this funding because every homeless Veteran deserves the opportunity to move from living on the streets to a safe and supportive environment.”

The program awards grants to community-based organizations that offer transitional housing and other supportive services to help homeless veterans reach self-sufficiency. 
Officials said only programs that provide housing for up to 24-months or those offering certain services, like crisis intervention, education, and counseling, are eligible for these funds. 

Last year, Housing and Urban Development officials found about 40,000 homeless veterans, an increase of about 600 from the previous year. It was the first time in seven years the number of homeless vets increased. 

Just in the fiscal year 2017 alone, some 600 grant-funded nonprofits across the nation provided shelter to more than 23,000 veterans. Beds are limited to the veteran, not their family members, but there is legislation to expand those same services to children. 

H.R. 4099, the Homeless Veteran Families Act, is a bipartisan bill that would allow children of homeless vets to be included in the total amounts of per diem grants. 

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