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VA officials expand support for families of low-income veterans

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- Department of Veterans Affairs officials announced Nov. 9 an important program designed to provide enhanced services to low-income veterans and their families who are at risk of being homeless. Under the Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program, VA officials will provide grants to private non-profit organizations and consumer cooperatives that will help break the cycle of homelessness among America's veterans at risk.

The program will deliver grants to community agencies for vocational and rehabilitation counseling, employment and training service, educational assistance and health care services.

Agencies also will provide direct financial assistance for daily living, transportation, child care, rent and utilities and other expenses. They also may propose funding for additional services in their supportive services grant application based on the specific needs of their communities and local Veterans.

"Ending homelessness for veterans and their families will require all segments of our communities to work together," said Michelle Obama. "I am pleased this new program will help more local organizations support them when they need it most."

"This new program will provide valuable new tools in our campaign to end homelessness among vterans and their families," said Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki. "Partnering with homeless agencies across this country, we will attack the problems that underlie homelessness and, for the first time, fund services for the spouses and children of homeless veterans."

By mid-December, VA officials will provide local agencies with the instructions necessary to apply for grants under the program.

Eligible veteran families include those who are residing in permanent housing, are homeless and scheduled to become residents of permanent housing within a specified time period, or who have left permanent housing and are seeking other housing that is responsive to such very low-income veteran family's needs and preferences.

(Courtesy of Veterans Affairs News Service)