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Homeless/at-risk vets get help

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki announced this week the award of nearly $60 million in homeless prevention grants that will serve approximately 22,000 homeless and at-risk veteran families as part of the new Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program.

This initial $60 million award will serve veteran families at 85 nonprofit community agencies in 40 states and the District of Columbia under VA’s new homeless prevention initiative.

“This new homeless prevention program will provide additional comprehensive support to veterans who have served honorably, and now find themselves in a downward spiral toward despair and homelessness,” said Shinseki. “This program expands our capacity to act before a veteran becomes homeless and to target the problem of family homelessness. These grants would not have been possible without the extraordinary partnerships forged with community organizers who are firmly committed to making a positive difference in lives of veterans and their families.”

The SSVF Program, a critical element of VA’s plan to prevent and end homelessness among veterans, will promote housing stability among homeless and at-risk veterans and their families. Under the SSVF program, VA awards grants to private non-profit organizations and consumer cooperatives that can provide a range of supportive services to eligible very low-income veteran families. Supportive services include outreach, case management, assistance in obtaining VA benefits, and assistance in obtaining and coordinating other public benefits.

Grantees will also have the ability to make time-limited temporary financial assistance payments on behalf of veterans for purposes such as rent payments, utility payments, security deposits and moving costs.

More information about VA’s homeless programs is available online at www.va.gov/homeless. A list of award recipients and details about the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program are available online at www.va.gov/homeless/ssvf.asp.

DAV vans

The Disabled American Veterans (DAV) organization is running a VAHC van from Durango on Tuesdays and Thursdays — call (505) 239-2769 — and from the Farmington area on Mondays and Wednesdays. Call (505) 793-2915 or (505) 325-4775.

Further information

For information on these and other veterans’ benefits, please call or stop by the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office located at the Senior Center in the Pagosa Springs Community Center on Hot Springs Boulevard.

The office number is 264-4013, the fax number is 264-4014 and cell number is 946-6648.

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