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VVSD gets money to end veteran homelessness

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The next 12 months, Vietname Veterans of San Diego will have federal money to use to help veteran families without a home find permanent hosuing before using up the year's money. THis week, additional money went out to organizations in the federal Support Services for Veterans Familes program that serve veterans in need of housing inthe 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

San Diego's organization that steps in to get homeless veterans off the streets and help them start stable independent lives was awarded 1.02 million dollars in a federal VA program grant.

The support services grant pays for work done by organizations getting veterans benefits that help veterans families live. VVSD can save low income veterans vulnerable to staying homeless using the money. Ending homelessness by working with veterans on finding a job, does not lower the homeless count enough on its own. Grant money guarantees many veterans not working, or not making enough to live a stable life, are not left out.

Veterans receiving money to settle in permanent housing, or stay in permanent housing, can ask VVSD for federal money to pay the rent, or the utility company, and pay for a move. Security deposits paid with federal money can settle a rent deal.

Guaranteed federal assistance money in the Support Services for Veterans Families progra went up for the program's fourth year, after rising since the first year. Congresswoman Susan Davis announced San Diego's increased funds for local work on ending homelessness. President Obama, in 2009, set the federal goal to end veteran homelessness by 2015. The VA made it a priority goal. According to the federal agency, homelessness among veterans and their families has gone down 24 percent.

Helping low income veterans families who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness, stays work done by VA funded organizations that can not move ahead slowly. In January, the VA proposed new rules to guarantee veterans families eligible for SSVF assistance get federal money when they would "likely be homeless" without the federal program assistance.

The new rules would increase work on giving money to very low income families the VA has found in need of funding help. And, keep local organizations at work on case management that settles a homeless family, even a family long on the street, into housing they make stable permanent housing. Familes losing homes would be promptly re-housed.

This is an On The Watch Take.

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