Money for Homeless Veterans Headed to Missouri

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Posted by: Jill Jensen

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – There are 1,800 homeless veterans on the streets of the greater metro area on any given day according to the non-profit Heart of America Stand Down Foundation. Tuesday, U.S. Senator Kit Bond today announced that Missouri is receiving federal funds from the Departments of Labor and Housing and Urban Development to help homeless veterans, but none is headed to Kansas City this time around.

“Our nation’s veterans are owed more than a blanket and a hot meal,” said Bond. “As our nation celebrates Independence Day these

     “Our nation’s veterans are owed more than a blanket and a hot meal,” said Bond. “As our nation celebrates Independence Day these funds are a way of saying thanks to the patriots who sacrificed for our freedom.”

Bond announced that the St. Patrick Center in St. Louis is receiving $300,000 in federal funds as part of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program (HVRP). St. Patrick’s is the largest provider of homeless services in the state with more than 20 programs assisting 9,000 people each year who are homeless or considered at risk of becoming homeless. Under the HVRP, homeless veterans will receive occupational, classroom and on-the-job training, including job search, placement assistance and follow-up services. The program also assists veterans with supportive services such as shelter, counseling, transportation and clothing.

Bond said, “This money is an important part of the government’s efforts in ending the unacceptable tragedy of homelessness among our veterans by providing the health care, mental health care, transitional services, and housing they need to be integrated back into their communities and former lives”

Bond also announced that Missouri’s Public Housing Authorities are receiving vouchers through the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program. The St. Louis Housing Authority will receive 35 vouchers, the Columbia Housing Authority will receive 35 vouchers, and the Springfield Housing Authority will receive 35 vouchers. Under this program, veterans will be able to use Section 8 and the supportive services they need to be integrated back into their communities and former lives, emphasized Bond. Last year, Kansas City received some voucher HUD money as part of funding that went to Kansas to help 175 homeless veterans.

According to recent government estimates, about 15 percent of the homeless using shelters in the U.S. are veterans. Bond also pointed out that homelessness is a major problem among Iraq and Vietnam veterans, particularly those who are not insured and may have both physical and psychological problems like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

Also, in May, the bill cosponsored by Senators Bond and Jack Reed (D-RI), the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act, was signed into law. The HEARTH Act builds upon programs, like permanent supportive housing, and provides $2.2 billion for targeted homelessness assistance grant programs; increase current levels of funding for homelessness assistance grants by $600 millions and allocate up to $440 million for homelessness prevention initiatives. It will also expand the definition for homelessness to allow families on the verge of becoming homeless to qualify for assistance and will reauthorize federal homelessness aid programs for the first time since 1989.

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