U.S. Rep. Ron Barber welcomed today’s announcement that two Tucson-based organizations will receive nearly $1.9 million to provide services to veterans who are homeless or at risk of losing their homes.
“It is a national disgrace that we have an estimated 70,000 veterans who are homeless in this country,” Barber said today. “These grants from the Veterans Administration will allow us to move closer to the day when every veteran has a place he or she can call home.”
The VA today announced that it is awarding $1 million to the Southern Arizona Chapter of the American Red Cross and $877,416 to the Primavera Foundation.
The awards are among $100 million in grants to 151 non-profit community organizations around the country. They are part of the VA’s expanded Supportive Services for Veteran Families program.
The program assists homeless veterans and their families as well as veterans who are at risk of becoming homeless. The funds can be used for health care services, daily living expenses, transportation, personal financial planning, legal services, child care and other types of assistance.
Funds may also be used to provide some limited payments to landlords, utility companies, moving companies and licensed child-care providers if the payments help veterans and their families stay in or acquire permanent housing.
The Southern Arizona Chapter of the American Red Cross received a new grant to serve about 800 households in Pima, Santa Cruz, Cochise, Graham and Greenlee counties as well as on the Tohono O’odham, Pasqua Yaqui and San Carlos Apache Indian reservations.
“The American Red Cross Southern Arizona Chapter has been serving active military and veterans since 1916,” said Richard White, regional chief executive officer of the Red Cross. “We are thrilled to learn that we were awarded a grant from the Veterans Administration in the amount of $1 million to expand our support services to veterans in Southern Arizona.
“With support from the Veterans Administration, we will expand our supportive services, housing, and material and financial assistance to an additional 5,000 veterans this year,” White added.
The Primavera Foundation had a previous grant renewed and plans to use its grant to serve about 120 households in Pima County.
The VA estimates there are approximately 70,000 homeless veterans nationwide.
Last month, Barber sought to shift funding within the Department of Housing and Urban Development to help homeless veterans. Barber’s amendment would have added $75 million for veterans’ housing programs while cutting administrative expenses by a greater amount. Although the proposal garnered some bipartisan support, it did not pass the House.
An estimated 100,000 veterans live in Barber’s district in Southern Arizona.