We Applaud VA, Congress for $23 million in New Grants to Help Veteran Families Avoid Homelessness


David Burch
Volunteers of America
(703) 341-50554 or dburch@voa.org 

ALEXANDRIA, VA. (Sept. 30, 2014)  – Volunteers of America, one of the nation’s oldest and largest nonprofit providers of services to vulnerable veterans, has been awarded more than $23 million in grants by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as part of the  Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program. The latest funding, which will help the organization provide critical services to more than 10,000 veteran households at risk for homelessness, will be allocated to eight Volunteers of America affiliates serving veterans in California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina and Ohio. The new funding comes in addition to the renewal of $25 million in grants announced in August, for a total of $48 million in SSVF funding to Volunteers of America.

“Relative to other funding sources and program models put out by the federal government, Volunteers of America has found the SSVF grant mechanism to be the most flexible, responsive and impactful in helping to address veteran homelessness,” said Jonathan Sherin, MD, PhD, Volunteers of America’s executive vice president of military communities. “Volunteers of America applauds Congress and the VA for continuing to support the SSVF program in particular, and for making this level of commitment to supply critical resources to veterans and families with housing challenges in general. Further, Volunteers of America also applauds the VA’s National Center for Homelessness Among Veterans, in Philadelphia, for its vision and leadership in developing and administering the SSVF program.”

The new grants were announced September 30 as part of $207 million in SSVF funds to 82 nonprofit agencies, which will help 70,000 homeless and at-risk veterans and their families. This includes “surge” funding for 56 high-need communities. Under the SSVF program, the VA awards grants to private nonprofit organizations like Volunteers of America that provide services to very low-income veteran families living in – or transitioning to – permanent housing. These community organizations provide a range of services that promote housing stability among eligible veteran families, including case management and assistance obtaining VA benefits. Community-based groups can offer temporary financial assistance for rent and utility payments, security deposits and moving costs. The grants announced today will fund the fourth year of the SSVF program.

Volunteers of America is one of the largest national providers of housing and programs for homeless veterans and their families. Eighteen affiliates currently receive SSVF funds. Serving tens of thousands of veterans annually in programs specifically designed to meet their unique needs, Volunteers of America offers special housing, services and programs for returning veterans as well as aging vets. A program for women veterans is also helping single mothers and other female veterans who are finding it difficult to transition back into civilian life.  

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About Volunteers of America Volunteers of America is a national, nonprofit, faith-based organization dedicated to helping those in need live healthy, safe and productive lives. Since 1896, our ministry of service has supported and empowered America’s most vulnerable groups, including veterans, seniors, people with disabilities, at-risk youth, men and women returning from prison, homeless individuals and families, those recovering from addictions and many others. Through hundreds of human service programs, including housing and health care, Volunteers of America helps almost 2.5 million people in over 400 communities. Our work touches the mind, body, heart and ultimately the spirit of those we serve, integrating our deep compassion with highly effective programs and services.