WASHINGTON – Building on President Obama’s commitment to end Veteran homelessness, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is announcing the availability of funding for non-profit organizations and other groups that serve Veterans through VA’s Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program. The SSVF program assists very low-income Veteran families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. These SSVF grants are available to current grantees seeking renewals and make new funding available for eight high-need communities.
VA relies on strong, targeted collaborations in key areas at federal and local levels and engages community partners to develop innovative and forward-thinking solutions that can lead to scalable and replicable models of service. SSVF grantees currently operate in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam, working within their communities to end or prevent homelessness among Veteran families.
“One of the things you learn in the Army is you never leave a soldier behind,” said Secretary McDonald. “Unfortunately, we’ve left some people behind, and they’re our homeless Veterans. VA is committed to achieving the goal of ending Veteran homelessness, and we won’t rest until every homeless Veteran has a place to call home.”
SSVF grantees typically serve Veterans with incomes below 30 percent of the area median income. Grantees must follow the housing first approach, which centers on permanently housing homeless Veterans quickly without preconditions and providing supportive services as needed. Additional SSVF requirements are that grantees engage in outreach to find and serve Veterans in need, provide Veterans with case management, and assist them in obtaining VA and other public benefits. SSVF served nearly 150,000 Veterans and their family members in fiscal year 2016. As a result of these and other efforts, Veteran homelessness is down significantly since the launch of the Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness in 2010. Since 2010, homelessness among Veterans had dropped by 47 percent.
For more information about VA’s homeless programs, visit www.va.gov/homeless. The Federal Register notice of funding availability may be found at: www.va.gov/homeless/ssvf/index.asp. The application deadline is February 3, 2017 at 4p.m. EST.