By Raymond Taylor
Archuleta County Veterans Service Office
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced it will award more than 425 grants to community organizations totaling approximately $279 million under the Grant Per Diem (GPD) program.
The GPD program provides funding to community organizations that provide transitional housing and supportive services for homeless veterans, with the goal of helping homeless veterans achieve residential stability, increase their skill levels and income and obtain greater self-determination.
“The GPD program is one component of VA’s multifaceted continuum of services and resources to help veterans exit homelessness,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “No veteran should ever have to worry whether they will have stable housing and these grants put us one step closer to ensuring all veterans are living in a safe and supportive environment.”
The award period begins Oct. 1 to support three different types of grants to address the unique needs of veterans who are homeless:
• Per Diem only grants are used to provide transitional housing beds and operate service centers for veterans experiencing homelessness. These grants provide funding in the form of per diem payments to reimburse grantees for the cost of care provided to veterans during the award period. A total of 369 grants to organizations will be awarded to provide 12,138 beds and 18 service centers totaling approximately $221 million.
• Special Need grants provide funding to organizations that incur additional operational costs to help veterans with special needs who are experiencing homelessness, including women, individuals with chronic mental illnesses and veterans who care for minor dependents. A total of 11 grants to organizations will be awarded totaling approximately $2.4 million.
• Transition in Place grants provide funding to community agencies that place veterans experiencing homelessness in transitional housing while providing them with supportive services. These services are designed to help veterans become more stable and independent, with the ultimate goal of veterans assuming full responsibility for the lease or other housing agreement. When that goal has been achieved, the transitional residence becomes the veteran’s permanent residence and supportive services come to an end. A total of 46 grants to organizations will be awarded to provide 723 beds totaling $55.3 million.
The GPD program has provided veterans who are homeless with community-based transitional housing and supportive services since 1994. The number of veterans experiencing homelessness in the U.S. has declined by 50 percent since 2010 — resulting from the GPD program and other VA efforts.
Please note: The GPD program is operated through Volunteers of America Durango, 247-0831.
Vets4Vets has received a grant from the Colorado Department of Military and Veteran Affairs. This is to support veterans in our community through the following assistance: housing, utilities, mental health counseling, dental services, travel assistance, automobile repairs, gas and food cards, and emergency veteran assistance.
Contact Vets4Vets at 799-VETS or www.Vets4VetsPSCO.org.
Veterans: Thank you for your service. Welcome home.
For further information on VA benefits, please call or stop by the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office (VSO), located at the Pagosa Springs Senior Center in the Ross Aragon Community Center on Hot Springs Boulevard.
The office: 264-4013, fax number: 264-4014, and email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Bring your DD Form 214 (discharge) for applications to VA programs or benefits for which the veteran may be entitled to enroll, and for filing in the Archuleta County VSO. Always leave a message and phone number to contact you.
The following veterans groups meet in Pagosa Springs:
• American Legion Post 108: second Wednesday of the month at 6 p.m., 287 Hermosa St.
• Veterans for Veterans: every Tuesday at 10 a.m., Episcopal Church, 225 S. Pagosa Blvd.
• Combat Veterans PTSD Group: every other Tuesday at noon, Community United Methodist Church, Lewis Street. Contact Gary Hanneman at 946-2540.
• Women’s Group of Spouses of Veterans: first and third Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m., Dr. Carter’s office; contact Charlotte at 903-9690.
• 799-VETS, www.Vets4VetsPSCO.org.
• Durango VA Outpatient Clinic: 247-2214.
• Farmington VA Center: (505) 326-4383.
• VAMC Albuquerque, N.M.: (800) 465-8262.
• VA Health Care Emergency Notification: (844) 724-7842.
The Veterans Crisis Line offers free, confidential support to veterans in crisis, as well as their family and friends 24/7/365. Call (800) 273-8255, chat online or text 838255.