Central Coast Organizations Fighting Veteran Homelessness Awarded $4 Million From VA
(WASHINGTON) Today, Rep. Lois Capps (CA-24) announced that three local organizations received Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) grant awards totaling more than $4 million to fight veteran homelessness. People Assisting The Homeless (PATH) in San Luis Obispo and Los Angeles was awarded $2,020,000, the Salvation Army in Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, and Ventura was awarded $1,624,231, and New Beginnings in Santa Barbara was awarded $365,976.
The grants, totaling $300 million nationwide, were awarded through VA’s Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program. The mission of the SSVF program is to secure permanent housing for very low-income veterans and their families around the country. SSVF funding supports outreach, case management, and other flexible assistance to prevent veteran homelessness or rapidly re-house veterans who become homeless.
Last year, SSVF served more than 157,000 participants and is on track to exceed that number in Fiscal Year 2016. These and other efforts have driven veteran homelessness down 47 percent nationally since the 2010 launch of the Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness.
“Congratulations to New Beginnings, PATH, and the Salvation Army for these well-deserved grant awards,” Capps said. “The issue of veteran homelessness is near and dear to my heart, and groups like these are leading the way to get help to those in need. I continue to be impressed by the dedicated work being done locally to ensure that our brave servicemen and women have somewhere stable to call home after serving our country. I hope that these VA grants will help allow these efforts to continue so that more veterans can get back on their feet.”
Leaders from the grantee organizations also commented on the awards from VA.
“The SSVF funding that New Beginnings has received over the past several years has been integral to our community’s success in addressing veteran homelessness,” said Kristine Schwarz, Executive Director of New Beginnings. “We plan to expand our outreach efforts in the new grant year to engage more veterans, landlords, employers, veteran treatment courts, and all others involved in ending veteran homelessness in Santa Barbara County.”
“We are honored to partner with the VA to help homeless veterans and their families make it home,” said Joel John Roberts, Chief Executive Officer of PATH. “PATH is currently moving 10 homeless veterans into apartments each week. We can’t do this without the VA.”
“The Salvation Army in Santa Barbara is pleased to share that we have once again been awarded SSVF funding,” said Mark Gisler, Executive Director of the Salvation Army Southern California Division. “The Salvation Army in Santa Barbara has received this funding since 2013 and has served numerous veteran families and individuals. Furthermore, this grant complements our veteran shelter grant per diem located at the Hospitality House. We are eager to continue our efforts in ending veteran homelessness in Santa Barbara County.”
For more information about the SSVF program, visit www.va.gov/homeless/ssvf.asp.