Bilirakis Helps Secure Over $2.1 million for Local Homeless Veterans
Washington, DC: As Vice-Chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, Congressman Bilirakis has been actively involved in directing resources to end homelessness within the Veterans’ community for many years. He is happy to announce that his support helped to secure $200 million in funding this year which supports 13,000 transitional housing beds within the VA’s Grant and Per Diem program. This program is designed to help end Veteran homelessness by providing shelter and supportive services to improve income levels, increase skill levels and achieve residential stability. According to the VA, “transition in place” programs provide support services in the Veteran’s living unit, phasing out over time, as the Veteran adjusts to permanent housing. VA Secretary David Wilkie said earlier today, “We appreciate the U.S. Congress providing this funding because every homeless Veteran deserves the opportunity to move from living on the streets to a safe and supportive environment.”
Locally, programs serving homeless Veterans within the Tampa Bay area will receive over $2.1 million and an additional 29 beds, as part of this initiative. The allocation breakdown is as follows:
Catholic Charities (Pinellas)- $924,960
Pinellas Ex-Offender Re-entry Coalition (Pinellas)- $1.25 million
St. Vincent DePaul (Pinellas) – 5 beds
ACTS (Hillsborough) – 24 beds
“There is absolutely no reason that even one of our nation’s heroes should experience homelessness after bravely answering the call to serve our country. We owe each of them more than that. The contributing factors that lead to homelessness vary by individual. For some, homelessness is the result of a situational problem, such as the loss of a job, divorce or an emergency incident. They may need a little extra boost, including help with security deposits and utilities. Once stabilized, these individuals are often able to live independently. For others, the issue is more complex. There may be mental health, medical and/or substance abuse issues involved, which may take longer to resolve and require greater support in order to ensure that the individual experiences long-term success. As such, the solution lies in providing varied levels of support in order to assist with people’s individual needs. This program offers that. These local agencies have worked to reduce homelessness in our community for many years, and I look forward to them making further progress. I will continue to support programs that aim to end Veteran homelessness until we reach our goal of zero homeless Vets,” said Congressman Bilirakis.