Grant to help veterans

The Veterans Services Foundation received a $68,000 grant to support the Virginia Department of Veterans Services (DVS).

Gov. Terry McAuliffe said Smithfield Foods donated the funds to support state programs for homeless veterans.

“The success of the DVS Homeless Veteran Program has exceeded all expectations. This success is attributed to the ongoing partnership between federal, state, regional and local agencies and to the support of donors” such as the food company, McAuliffe said.

Over the past four years, DVS has worked with federal, state, and local partners to improve cross-agency coordination and to improve service capacity for homeless veterans.

The coordinated effort has greatly improved the process to identify homeless veterans and enable agencies serving homeless veterans to make quick connections to appropriate housing resources, according to a release from McAuliffe’s office.

In 2015, Virginia was certified by the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as the first state in the nation to functionally end veteran homelessness. More than 3,000 veterans have been placed in permanent housing since October 2014, the release stated.

In July 2016, the Virginia Veteran and Family Support (VVFS) program, part of DVS, identified the need for supplemental funding to help veterans in the process of being housed. Working with the Veterans Services Foundation and 25 partner housing agencies in the Homeless Continuum of Care, DVS established a pilot program to use donated funds to provide one-time gap assistance for homeless veterans in the process of being housed. To date, 156 veterans were helped.


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