(7/20/12) Tomah, WI - The Veterans Assistance Foundation (VAF) announced today that they were awarded the Support Services for Veterans Families (SSVF) grant from the Federal Veterans Administration in the amount of $300,000.
The purpose of the grant is to promote active outreach both in community and with the local VA; case management services; assist participants in obtaining VA benefits; obtaining mainstream entitlements and services; and provide temporary financial assistance for rent, security and utility deposits, utility fees, moving costs, emergency supplies, and transportation. It is also a new option that allows assistance to the families of veterans.
VAF Founder and Chief Executive Officer Bob Piaro said this was a first for the area and he was thrilled to be able to now help the families of veterans. "This grant is a phenomenal benefit to veterans and their families in Western Wisconsin," Piaro said. "To this point we were only able to assist the veteran. This grant will allow VAF to extend benefits and services to the veterans and their family as well, which will fill a gap in preventing homelessness among veterans," he added.
Effective August 1st, the grant will support services in Monroe and twelve surrounding counties: Eau Claire, Trempeleau, Jackson, Wood, La Crosse, Juneau, Adams, Vernon, Crawford, Richland, Sauk, as well as the Ho-Chunk tribal communities contained within these counties. The program aims to improve housing stability for very low-income Veteran families through daily living services, financial planning, legal counsel, childcare services, and time-limited payments to third parties, such as landlords and moving companies.
"With the assistance of the Federal VA, state and local partners, we are very pleased to be able to provide this much needed service to veterans and their families," VAF President Colin Moten said. "Our goal is to provide assistance to prevent the veteran family from becoming homeless and allow them to remain intact in a stable environment."
The Veterans Assistance Foundation (VAF) is a 501(c)(3) private non-profit organization based in Tomah, Wisconsin that was established in 1994 to operate homeless veterans programs throughout Wisconsin. VAF currently operates transitional housing for veterans who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless with a program located on the grounds of the Tomah VAMC, as well as four houses within the city of Tomah and one in Madison.
Veterans who are interested in learning more about the grant and opportunities it presents are encouraged to call the VAF at 608-372-8387.