VA to award more than 425 grants, $279 million to help prevent and end veteran homelessness

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced Aug. 19 it will award more than 425 grants to community organizations totaling approximately $279 million under the Grant Per Diem program.

The U.S. Veterans Initiative in Phoenix, Ariz., will receive $1.6 million dollars. U.S. Vets operates a 12-bed facility in the city.

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 veteranís 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.

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