Hawaii to Receive $2.1 Million to Aid Homeless Veterans

July 11, 2013, 9:57 AM HST (Updated July 11, 2013, 11:04 AM)
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Hawaii will receive grants more than $2 million in federal grants to help homeless and at-risk veterans, US Reps. Colleen Hanabusa and Tulsi Gabbard announced today.

Catholic Charities Hawaii will receive $1.1 million to assist 166 participant households on the islands of Oahu, Maui, Kauai and Hawaii, while the US Veterans Initiative will receive $1 million to serve approximately 400 participant households on the islands of Oahu, Maui and Hawaii.

The funding comes from the US Department of Veterans Affairs’ Supportive Services for Veteran Families program.

The Hawaii grants are part of nearly $300 million being awarded to 319 community agencies in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki said in a press release.

The grants are expected to help approximately 120,000 homeless and at-risk veterans and their families, the VA said.

“With these grants, we are strengthening our partnership with community non-profits across the country to provide veterans and their families with hope, a home, and a future,” Shinseki said.

“The work of Supportive Services for Veteran Families program grantees has already helped us prevent and end homelessness among tens of thousands of homeless veterans and their families, but as long as a single veteran lives on our streets, we have work to do.”

The SSVF program awards grants to private non-profit organizations and consumer cooperatives that provide services to very low-income veteran families living in or transitioning to permanent housing. It is designed to prevent at-risk veterans from becoming homeless and rapidly re-house those who have recently fallen into homelessness.

“It is a national travesty to see these brave men and women, who once wore the uniform to serve our country, homeless and on the streets,” said Hanabusa. “We as a country must do all we can to honor their service and provide them with the support they need to transition back to civilian life.”

Gabbard, who has deployed twice to Iraq as a member of the Hawaii Army National Guard, agreed.

“In every generation, courageous men and women have raised their hands, volunteering to selflessly serve our nation in times of peace and times of war,” she said. “Their sacrifices must be honored; they are dishonored if when they return home, they and their families face the burden of homelessness.”

For more information on the VA’s Supportive Services for Veteran Families program click here.

***Updated at 11:02 a.m. with additional details.***

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