Two Grants Help Veteran Families Find Permanent Housing

Thanks to a more than $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, local homeless service provider United States Veterans Initiative-Hawaii (U.S.VETS-Barbers Point) will be able to provide rapid re-housing services to 360 veteran households throughout the state of Hawaii.

According to Kim Cook, executive director with U.S.VETS-Barbers Point, the Supportive Services for Veterans Families (SSVF) grant will help prevent at-risk veteran households from losing their housing and help currently homeless veteran households move rapidly into permanent housing by aiding in short-term financial assistance on behalf of veterans.

Aid will be provided for rent payments, utility payments, security deposits, emergency and moving costs, in addition to case management-based supportive services.

“This is the first grant that allows us to provide homeless prevention services and rapid re-housing services,” Cook further explained.

“It’s the first grant of its kind for our organization.”

This is U.S.VETSBarbers Point’s third attempt at this program, and Cook said that their determination has paid off.

“We were persistent because there is a great need, especially for veterans coming out of the service,” she said. “We have expanded our services across the continuum of homelessness, and homelessness prevention was our last piece in closing the circle of services we provide.”

Another grant from the Department of Labor under the department’s Homeless Female Veterans and Veterans with Families Program (HFVVWF) will allow U.S.VETS-Barbers Point in Kapolei to expand current services in Oahu, as well as bring needed employment services to female veterans and veteran families living on Kauai, Maui and Hawaii Island.

“This grant specifically services our female veterans,” Cook said. “It is the only grant in the state of Hawaii that serves that population.”

According to Cook, the HVRP HFVVWF grant, along with the newly awarded $1 million SSVF grant, allows U.S.VETS to expand its effort and impact in Hawaii.