The Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University (IVMF) is pleased to announce that its efforts in support of New York State community organizations serving veterans and their families has yielded more than $24 million in Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) grants offered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Through a strategic partnership and grant from the New York State Health Foundation, the IVMF worked with organizations across the state to triple the amount of VA funding earmarked to serve New York State veterans families, from $8.2 million last year to more than $24 million in the coming federal fiscal year. The grant provided funding to the IVMF for two years to facilitate direct technical assistance to communities interested in better serving veterans and their families by establishing the nation’s first state-based SSVF Direct Training and Technical Assistance Center (DTA).
The VA’s SSVF program supports a partnership between community nonprofits and the VA to provide services to very low-income veterans and their families living in – or transitioning to – permanent housing and supports the VA’s efforts to prevent at-risk veterans from becoming homeless as well as rapidly re-housing those who have recently fallen into homelessness.
“This funding is the first step in ensuring our veteran families gain access to resources and services where their live and work – in their communities – to help them transition successfully from military service. The VA’s investment in the nonprofit sector to help end veteran homelessness further establishes what good, public-private collaboration can truly look like and provides communities a “rally point” from which to align resources provided by government, business, nonprofit and philanthropic sectors,” said Colonel (Ret.) Jim McDonough, IVMF’s Senior Director of Community Engagement and Innovation and architect of the direct technical assistance initiative.
John Kuhn, Acting Director of the VA’s SSVF Program Office, commended IVMF for their efforts to help deliver quality funding applications for the VA’s consideration. “IVMF’s partnership with SSVF grantees has strengthened New York State’s ability to serve homeless and at-risk veteran families. We look forward to their continued involvement as we work together to end the scourge of veteran homelessness throughout New York State,” said Kuhn.
James R. Knickman, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of the New York State Health Foundation, was pleased with the VA’s announcement last week naming New York’s twenty-one grantees. “An essential piece of ensuring veteran families’ health and well-being is expanding access to community-based services that meet their unique needs. IVMF and the Veterans Outreach Center have played central roles in increasing the capacity of community organizations throughout New York State to better serve veterans and to secure federal funding that will help sustain needed services,” said Knickman.
Beginning in October, communities from Long Island to Buffalo will have resources exclusively organized to serve New York State veterans and their families. This ensures that New York State will have near complete county coverage for services and supports to prevent homelessness among veterans and their families. The community organizations selected to receive SSVF funding will provide a range of services that promote housing stability and connect veterans’ families to benefits counseling, legal services and other forms of assistance. The organizations will also the capability to offer temporary financial assistance for rent and utility payments, security deposits and moving costs.
The IVMF’s Direct Technical Assistance initiative for the SSVF grantees will now transition to assisting the grantees with establishing and executing their SSVF programs as well as preparing them for accreditation to ensure sustainable funding in the future.
For more information about the VA’s SSVF program and the organizations across New York State selected to receive SSVF funding visit www.va.gov/homeless/ssvf.asp. For information regarding the New York State Health Foundation’s veterans’ initiatives visit http://nyshealthfoundation.org/priority-areas/other-focus-areas/veterans-health/. For additional information about IVMF’s Direct Technical Assistance initiative supporting New York State SSVF grantees visit http://ssvfdta.vets.syr.edu/.
Questions concerning IVMF’s Direct Technical Assistance initiative for New York State SSVF grantees can be directed via e-mail to Colonel (Ret.) Jim McDonough at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 315.415.4050.