$4.6M grant to fight veterans’ homelessness

8/22/2014, 4:02 p.m.

Decatur Cooperative Ministry Inc. and three other Atlanta-based groups have been awarded more than $4.6 million from the Department of Veterans Affairs to fight veterans’ homelessness, U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson announced on Aug. 19.

The other agencies are United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta, Action Ministries Inc. and Travelers Aid of Metropolitan Atlanta Inc. All will receive a share of funds to provide services to very low-income veteran families living in or transitioning to permanent housing in the 4th District and throughout metro Atlanta.

Johnson, who has been a member of the House Armed Services Committee since 2007, said that every day he is inspired to work on behalf of men and women in uniform and their families.

“I’m pleased to have voted on the VA health reform bill last month, and I’m committed to doing what I can to help our veterans get their lives back on track,” said Johnson, who sent letters of support to the VA for the grants.

The grants are part of a $300 million nationwide Supportive Services for Veterans Families effort in homeless prevention. More than 301 community nonprofits in 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia will benefit. The agencies will help more than 115,000 homeless and at-risk veterans and their families.

Supportive Services for Veterans Families is part of President Obama’s pledge to “be relentless” in his pursuit of ending veterans’ homelessness within the decade.

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald said that by working with community nonprofits, they have enlisted valuable partners in the fight to end homelessness.

“The work of SSVF grantees has already helped thousands of homeless veterans and their families find homes and thousands more have been able to stay in their own homes,” McDonald said.

Through its Eliminating Veteran Homelessness Initiative, the VA has committed more than $1 billion in fiscal 2014 to strengthen programs that prevent and end homelessness among veterans. The VA provides a range of services to homeless veterans, including health care, housing, job training and education.

Details about the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program are at www.va.gov/homeless/ssvf.asp. More information about VA’s homeless programs is available at www.va.gov/homeless.