Washington, DC — As part of a nationwide effort to end homelessness among Veterans, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs awarded Friendship Place $2 million to expand the organization’s acclaimed Veterans First program, which serves homeless and at-risk Veterans in DC and eight surrounding counties in Maryland and Virginia. This funding, which is part of the national Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) Program, will allow Veterans First to serve 424 individuals or families in the coming year, with top-notch, comprehensive homelessness prevention and rapid rehousing services.
Veterans who come through the program, many with spouses and children, receive intensive short-term services, including temporary rental assistance; assistance with job placement, accessing benefits and developing a budget; and support in connecting to resources in the surrounding community.
“Our partnership with the VA has been extremely productive,” said Jean-Michel Giraud, Executive Director of Friendship Place. “Secretary Shinseki’s visionary leadership has made this program possible and continues to inspire our Veterans First team. The VA is just as invested in our outcomes as we are.” Giraud highlighted the success of this partnership this week at the National Conference to End Homelessness, presenting on two panels alongside John Kuhn, the National Director of SSVF.
The VA awarded Friendship Place $1 million in SSVF funding in 2012 and decided to double their investment this year because of the program’s outstanding success at helping Veteran families achieve housing stability. The expansion will go into effect this October.
James Davis, an Iraq veteran, was both homeless and unemployed a mere three months ago. “Friendship Place went above and beyond to make sure I was taken care of,” says Mr. Davis. “Within three months I was able to gain employment, get housing again, and get connected with my benefits. This grant will make an impact on so many people’s lives, just like it did for me.”
More information about Veterans First may be found on the Friendship Place website at http://www.FriendshipPlace.org.
Friendship Place empowers men and women experiencing homelessness to rebuild their lives with the involvement of the community. Through innovative leadership and community engagement, we provide effective, customized programs for those experiencing homelessness, including street outreach, shelter, transitional and permanent supportive housing, health care, job placement, and advocacy. Learn more at http://www.FriendshipPlace.org
2013 SSVF Grant Announcement – PDF Version