VA to Award Three Grants to Help Prevent Veteran Homelessness in the D.C. Area - Washington DC VA Medical Center
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VA to Award Three Grants to Help Prevent Veteran Homelessness in the D.C. Area

August 28, 2020

VA to Award Three Grants to Help Prevent and End Veteran Homelessness in the Washington, D.C. Area

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has announced it will award Per Diem Only grants to three non-profit community organizations in the Washington, D.C. area to support a total of 129 Transitional Housing beds for Veterans who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness under the National Grant Per Diem (GPD) Program Office.
 
The GPD Program provides funding to community organizations which offer transitional housing and supportive services for homeless Veterans. The goal of the program is to help homeless Veterans achieve residential stability, increase their skill levels and income and obtain greater self-determination.

The three community non-profit organizations servicing the Washington DC VA Medical Center and receiving the grants include:  Access Housing, Inc. in Washington, D.C.; Chesapeake Health Education Program in Perry Point, Maryland; and United States Veterans Initiative, Inc. in Washington, D.C. All three organizations are currently providing GPD services in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area or are currently grantees with the GPD Program. The new award period begins Oct. 1, 2020 for each grantee.

“The GPD Program is just one component of VA’s multifaceted continuum of services and resources to help  Veterans exit homelessness,” said Sha-Ron Haddock, LICSW, who oversees the Washington DC VA Medical Center’s GPD program . “No Veteran should ever have to worry whether they will have stable housing, and these grants put us one step closer to ensuring all Veterans are living in a safe and supportive environment.”

The National Grant and Per Diem Office support three different types of grants nationally to address the unique needs of Veterans who are homeless:
Per Diem only grants are used to provide transitional housing beds and operate service centers for Veterans experiencing homelessness. These grants provide funding in the form of per diem payments to reimburse grantees for the cost of care provided to Veterans during the award period.

Special Need grants provide funding to organizations that incur additional operational costs to help Veterans with special needs including women Veterans, those experiencing homelessness, chronic mental illnesses and those who care for minor dependents.

Transition in Place grants provide funding to community agencies that place Veterans experiencing homelessness in transitional housing while providing them with supportive services. These services are designed to help Veterans become more stable and independent, with the ultimate goal of Veterans assuming full responsibility for the lease or other housing agreement. When that goal has been achieved, the transitional residence becomes the Veteran’s permanent residence and supportive services are ended.

Since 1994, the GPD Program has provided Veterans who are homeless with community-based transitional housing and supportive services. The number of Veterans experiencing homelessness in the U.S. has declined by 50% since 2010.  There are currently about 386 Veterans experiencing homelessness in the medical center’s catchment area which includes the District of Columbia and parts of Maryland and Virginia.

Information about the GPD Program and a list of grantees is available at https://www.va.gov/homeless/gpd.asp.  To interview a subject-matter expert about the Washington DC VA Medical Center’s efforts to assist homeless and  at-risk Veterans, please contact the Office of Public Affairs: Gloria Hairston, Gloria.hairston@va.gov, 240-223-7065.
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