CHARLESTON — The West Virginia Community Action Partnership (WVCAP) has received an extra $1,118,403 from the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs to spend over three months on housing services for West Virginia veterans, according to a news release. WVCAP is the lead agency in West Virginia for the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program.
“When so many people are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, this funding helps us address the needs of homeless veterans and those in shelters, helping them get into permanent housing,” said Mary Chipps, executive director of WVCAP. “This program normally operates on about $2 million a year, so this grant increases the funding by more than 50% this year.”
Leah Willis, WVCAP SSVF program manager, added, “With this additional funding, no West Virginia veteran who is willing to accept assistance should be on the streets or in a shelter. The program also helps veterans in danger of becoming homeless. It’s just a matter of getting information out there about services that are available.”
The primary goal of SSVF is to provide stable housing to low-income veterans. Services consist of outreach, case management, and assistance in obtaining Veterans’ Affairs or other public benefits available in the area. Those benefits include health care services, daily living services, personal financial planning services, transportation services, income support services, fiduciary and representative payee services, legal services, child care, and housing counseling services.
SSVF may also provide time-limited payments to third parties (e.g., landlords, utility companies, moving companies, and licensed childcare providers) if those payments help veterans’ families stay in or acquire permanent housing on a sustainable basis.
In addition, services to prevent low-income veterans from becoming homeless can be provided for more months. A veteran need only have a letter from a landlord stating the veteran is behind in rent and about to be evicted.
The most recent guidance on services available to veterans through SSVF can be found at: https://www.va.gov/HOMELESS/ssvf/docs/SSVF_COVID_19_Additional_Resources.pdf.