Program offers help to homeless veterans in New York

— Peter Potter, Public Affairs Officer for New York Department of Veterans Affairs said many veterans do not come to the VA for assistance in times of crisis. Initiatives like SO are a good way to engage veterans and reassure them the services at the VA are meant for them.

“This isn’t meant as a perpetual handout but a hand up to bring veterans out of a funk and proceed with their lives,” Potter said. “This is a good way to connect with folks who otherwise won’t reach out to the VA.”

Potter said many veterans don’t seek or resist seeking assistance for a variety of reasons.

“I hear, ‘I don’t want to take away from another veteran,’ or, ‘It’s not that bad I can’t handle it,’ but the most important thing for our veterans to realize is these services are for them in gratitude for the service they’ve provided to our country,” Porter said.

SO also received a $976,402 renewal grant to continue to provide housing services to about 400 more veterans in 18 Eastern New York counties.

These awards are among nearly $100 million in Supportive Services for Veteran Family (SSVF) grants targeted to provide housing stability for approximately 42,000 homeless and at-risk veterans and their families nationally. The grants will go to 151 community agencies in 49 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

For more information at the grant go to www.va.gov/homeless/ssvf.asp or call 1-866-406-8449.

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