BY SANDY MILLER, CHAIR
This year the Homeless Veterans Committee decided to make
a donation to a nonprofit in South Carolina instead of
holding a seminar. We selected the Alston Wilkes Veterans
Home because of its long-standing relationship with the
South Carolina State Council and local South Carolina VVA
chapters. I know the donation will be put to great use.
The director of the program has assured me the Home will
send pictures of items purchased for the
J. Award were received this year. There must be many success
stories of people deserving national recognition for their
accomplishments working with the homeless. I urge all Chapters
and State Councils to seek out individuals who have made
successful transitions from homelessness and nominate them
for this award.
The committee is awaiting with great anticipation
the start-up of the HUD-VASH program. Creating 10,000 vouchers
will move forward the effort to end homelessness among veterans.
The regulations have been formulated and some of the new
liaisons have been named to oversee the distribution of the
vouchers. This issue has been on the top of this committee’s
priority list for many years. When HUD went forward with
the request for the allocation of funds for this joint venture,
it took a giant step in its commitment to providing housing
for homeless veterans. We applaud HUD.
Homeless veterans and
those who help them received a significant boost when the
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs presented 55 new awards
to public and private nonprofit organizations that help homeless
veterans. The July 14 announcement of awards to community-based
organizations in 24 states will add more than a thousand
transitional housing beds to the 9,400 beds already available
for homeless veterans through VA grants for the homeless.
Last year, the VA committed more resources than at any time
in its history for programs benefiting homeless veterans.
department committed $26 million in new funding to support
some two thousand new transitional housing beds; $12 million
for seriously mentally ill veterans, terminally ill veterans,
frail elderly veterans, and women veterans, including women
with children; and $2 million for other programs.
has provided more than $350 million in grants and per diem
payments since it began the Grant and Per Diem Program in
1994. Since 1988, the VA has worked with hundreds of communities
to support more than 1,500 stand-downs across the nation.
Stand-downs give homeless veterans a temporary refuge where
they can get food, shelter, clothing, and a wide range of
community and VA help. For more information on the VA’s
homeless programs, see the VA website, www.va.gov