Washington, D.C. – (RealEstateRama) — This week, the House Appropriations Committee approved an increase in funding aimed at helping homeless veterans get back on their feet at the urging of Congressman Ashford and a bipartisan group of legislators.
The additional funding, nearly $15 million, is allocated to the Department of Labor’s Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS) and the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP)
“We owe a debt to the brave men and women who have selflessly served our country and fought to protect our freedoms, and that means keeping the promises our country has made to our veterans,” said Rep. Ashford. “I am pleased with this week’s committee vote to invest in programs that lift our veterans out of poverty and homelessness. Our communities need resources to address mental illness among homeless veterans and continue to adapt and tailor services to female veterans. I am moved by the work being done in Omaha to reduce the number of homeless veterans, and I want to see this successful program expanded and used to combat this issue across the country.”
Congressman Ashford lead a bipartisan letter to the Appropriations Committee, cosigned by 66 Members of Congress, earlier this year calling for a robust increase in funding for these crucial programs.
The legislation provides $285.5 million for VETS, which is a $14.4 million increase from the previous year. Included in the VETS funding is an $11.9 million increase to expand the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program and other worker training programs. HVRP investments, when paired with other public-private initiatives like Together Omaha, have reduced the number of homeless veterans across the country by 36 percent since 2010 by connecting them to stable housing and support.
“We applaud the passage of the Veterans Employment and Training Services bill which allocates needed funds to veterans’ reintegration and assists in efforts to end veteran homelessness,” said Together Omaha Program Manager Cheryl Dixon. “At Together we are proud of our efforts to end veteran homelessness in Omaha. We have seen a 98% success rate at bringing self-sufficiency to homeless veterans entered into our rapid rehousing program. We have a duty to help lift up those who have given so much for us. This bill goes forward in us meeting our duty.”
“Passage of this legislation is further evidence Congress is serious about addressing and preventing homelessness among our veterans,” said Mike Saklar with the Siena/Francis House, the largest Omaha area shelter providing food, shelter and clothing to homeless men, women and children. “A lot has been accomplished to reduce veterans’ homelessness in this decade, but we still have a long way to go. I consider employment, employment training and reintegration services as critical components in our efforts to serve homeless veterans. This increase in the Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program will help communities nation-wide to expand existing or develop new efforts that will result in jobs, affordable housing, and supportive services for homeless veterans.”
The HVRP helps homeless veterans find meaningful employment by investing in skills training, career counseling, and resume assistance through great local organizations funded through the program.