Hawai‘i Congressional Delegation Announces $2.1 Million to Assist Homeless Veterans In Hawai‘i
September 17, 2015
Washington, D.C. – Today, the Hawai‘i Congressional Delegation announced that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has awarded $2,118,174 in two grants under the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program to help curb veterans’ homelessness in Hawai‘i.
“Just as our men and women in uniform fight for us, we need to fight for them,” said Congressman Mark Takai (HI-01). “We have an obligation to provide for our veterans who face new battles at home as they return to civilian life. No veteran should struggle to secure a place to live after serving our nation. These funds will help U.S. Vets and Catholic Charities Hawaii ensure that when our servicemembers leave the military, they have a home to return to.”
“Today, far too many veterans are living on the streets while struggling to find affordable housing,” said U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i). “Our commitment to those brave men and women in uniform does not end when they separate from the military. We have to continue to fight on their behalf so that when they come home, they come home to a roof over their heads. These funds will help those homeless veterans find a path toward stable housing.”
“As we address the serious issue of homelessness, it is imperative that we keep our commitment to helping our service members and families in need,” said U.S. Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawai‘i). “Partnerships between the federal government and non-profit organizations, including the SSVF grant program, are critical to addressing the challenges that veterans and their families face in finding a stable home. SSVF is one of our greatest tools in the effort to end veteran homelessness – that’s why I have introduced legislation to protect the SSVF program from harmful proposed policy changes and led a bipartisan coalition of Senators in calling for increased SSVF funding. In Hawaii, SSVF funds have allowed Catholic Charities Hawaii to serve 208 families and U.S.VETS to serve 360 families in 2014. This new round of funds will allow them to continue the important work they are doing for those who served our country.”
“Our country is forever indebted to the brave men and women who put their lives on the line to serve our country and defend the freedom and liberty we hold most dear,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02). “Allowing our nation's heroes to return home and struggle to put a roof over their head is unacceptable. While more must be done to end our country's homeless veterans crisis, these funds will help U.S. Vets and Catholic Charities Hawai‘i continue their service to hundreds of homeless veterans and their families as they work to get back on their feet.”
“The renewal of SSVF funding for a little over 1 million dollars will make it possible for U.S.VETS to assist 360 veterans and their families this next grant year; that's 360 veteran families that otherwise would be homeless in our Aloha State," said Darryl Vincent the Chief Operating Officer of U.S.VETS; the largest nonprofit homeless veteran services provider in the nation, with 2 locations in Hawai‘i. “It takes a collaborative process with our federal partners to end this national tragedy of having our nation's heroes and their families without a home and this funding shows the commitment of these partnerships in ending veteran homelessness. As long as one veteran does not have a home our work is not done!"
“Our veterans and their families sacrifice so much to keep all of us safe; they shouldn’t have to sacrifice a permanent home,” said Catholic Charities Hawai‘i President and CEO Jerry Rauckhorst. “The $1.1 million in SSVF funding allows Catholic Charities Hawai'i to continue working with our city and state partners in meeting the Obama administration's goal of ending veteran homelessness by the end of this year.”
These grants are awarded under the SSVF program, which supports outreach, case management and other flexible assistance to prevent Veteran homelessness or rapidly re-house Veterans who become homeless. The grants awarded to Hawai‘i were a part of a $300 million renewal of crucial services throughout the country.
The grants awarded are:
• Catholic Charities Hawai‘i $1,101,224.00
• U.S.VETS Hawai‘i $1,016,950.00