Rep. John Lewis Encourages Atlanta Groups to Apply for Homeless Veteran Assistance
WASHINGTON-The Department of Veterans Affairs has announced it will make $100 million in federal grants available to community agencies to help prevent homelessness among veterans and their families.
"The problems that lead to homelessness begin long before Veterans and their families are on the streets," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. "By putting more resources into prevention services for people at risk of becoming homeless, we will continue to help Veterans and their families get back on their feet and turn their lives around."
The funds will be made available in fiscal year 2012 through VA's Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program. The SSVF provides funding for counseling, training, education assistance, direct time-limited financial assistance, transportation, child care, rent, utilities, and other services aimed at preventing homelessness or providing housing for participating Veterans and their families.
"Lately, Atlanta non-profits have developed very smart, strategic approaches to the application for federal funds. And those strategies have been rewarded with the lion's share of federal funding in areas which usually require lots of financial investment to address, like transportation and healthcare.
"Since cities and states are cutting back on social welfare spending, this grant represents a prime opportunity that I hope organizations will seize upon to make a difference in our community. One particularly effective approach has been the development of strategic partnerships among groups to present a comprehensive proposal. I think this is very attractive to the federal government, which like any other granting institution, looks favorably on applications that offer the greatest chance to make a significant impact.
The deadline for the submission of an application is February 15th, 2012. The VA is offering free workshops this month and in January to review the grant application process with local organizations interested in applying. Currently the Atlanta workshop is scheduled on January 9th, from 9-12 PM at the Atlanta VA Medical Center, Pete Wheeler Auditorium, 1670 Clairmont Road in Decatur. Groups should follow the VA website to track changes to the workshop schedule and to find out the dates workshops will be scheduled in Atlanta, Baltimore, Denver, San Francisco, and St. Louis. Last year the SSVF granted $60 million to local groups to assist 22,000 veterans in 40 states and the District of Columbia.
"Veterans have risked all they have on the front lines of battle to protect this country. They deserve nothing short of our best to help ease their transition back to society. So I hope local organizations will study will make the smart choices that will offer Atlanta additional funding to address homelessness prevention among veterans and their families."