Tuesday, September 23, 2008

VA Announces $36 Million in Grants for Homeless Programs


WASHINGTON (Sept. 23, 2008) - Homeless veterans in 35 states, the
District of Columbia and Puerto Rico will get more assistance, thanks to
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) grants providing $36.7 million to
community groups to create 1,526 beds for homeless veterans this year.

"These grants provide a helping hand to veterans who have served our
nation in uniform," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. James B.
Peake. "Our partnerships with community-based organizations provide
safe, temporary housing while these veterans return to productive
lives."

VA has identified public and community non-profit groups eligible to
receive payments for housing and supportive services to homeless
veterans, including 49 grants for vans that will transport homeless
veterans to health care and training programs.

The grants are part of VA's continuing efforts to reduce homelessness
among veterans. VA has the largest integrated network of homeless
assistance programs in the country. In many cities and rural areas, VA
social workers and other clinicians working with community and
faith-based partners conduct extensive outreach programs, clinical
assessments, medical treatments, alcohol and drug abuse counseling and
employment assistance.

VA's Grant and Per Diem program helped reduce the number of veterans who
are homeless on a typical night last year by 21 percent to about 154,000
veterans. VA also provides health care to about 100,000 homeless
veterans, compensation and assistance in obtaining foreclosed homes and
excess federal property, including clothes, footwear, blankets and other
items.

More information about VA's homeless programs is available on the
Internet at http://www.va.gov/homeless.