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FY 2013 Appropriations: Supportive Services for Veterans Families
Advocacy Resource | February 22, 2012
Files: PDF | 229 KB | 1 page
Supportive Services for Veterans Families (SSVF) provides the missing piece for the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) to finally be able to end homelessness among veterans. The program uses proven, cost-effective models to serve tens of thousands of homeless veterans and their families by either preventing their homelessness from occurring in the first place, or quickly moving them out of homelessness and into sustainable housing.
Through SSVF, VA provides competitive grants to nonprofit organizations and consumer cooperatives to serve at-risk and homeless low-income veteran families – defined as those households where the head of household or his/her spouse is a United States veteran. For the purposes of this program, a single, unaccompanied veteran can be defined as a veteran family and is eligible to receive SSVF assistance.
SSVF is a homelessness prevention and rapid rehousing program. It compliments VA’s current tools to serve homeless veterans, including the Grant and Per Diem (GPD) transitional housing model and permanent supportive housing through the joint Department of Housing and Urban Development and VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program. SSVF is crucial in serving those veterans families who may only need minor, one-time assistance to prevent or end their homelessness.
SSVF is intended to be a short-term intervention that will help veteran families keep, or rapidly transition to, permanent housing. Grantees provide low-income families with case management services and direct supportive services, including rental assistance, utilities assistance, child care costs, moving costs, transportation expenses, emergency supplies, and security deposits. The program targets families who are in transitional housing, are scheduled to be homeless through eviction, or are currently homeless. Grantees assess families’ possible housing status should they receive no assistance. Eligible veterans are identified through outreach and referrals.
The Administration’s fiscal year (FY) 2013 Budget Proposal requests $300 million for SSVF to provide assistance to an estimated 67,000 veteran families. Congress has funded approximately 35,000 SSVF interventions in FY 2011 and 2012.
Congress should continue to make ending homelessness among veterans a top priority by providing $300 million for the SSVF program in FY 2013. To finally end homelessness among veterans, SSVF will need to serve an estimated total of 170,000 veterans and their families. To date, Congress has already provided funding for 35,200.
In order to meet the Administration’s goal of ending homelessness among veterans by 2015, SSVF will need to serve an additional 134,800 veterans and their families over the coming years.