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VA Grants Help Nonprofits Surge Resources for Florida Veterans


Twelve nonprofits have been awarded grants from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to surge resources for homeless and at-risk Florida veterans.

World War II Veteran Facing Eviction Gets Help
A 99-year-old World War II Navy Veteran was facing eviction in Broward County, Florida when he reached out to VA’s local Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program for help.

August 17, 2022 – Twelve nonprofits have been awarded grants from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to surge resources and services for homeless and at-risk Florida veterans. VA Secretary Denis McDonough announced the Department awarded a total of $418 million to fund 258 nonprofits nationwide. In Florida, home to 1.5 million of America’s veterans, VA’s SSVF grants will fund services for thousands of homeless and at-risk low income veterans over the coming year.

VA-funded one stop shops such as the Operation Sacred Trust Veteran Service Centers in downtown Fort Lauderdale and Miami are making resources and services easier to access for Florida veterans in crisis.

“Nobody should be homeless in the country they fought to defend — nobody,” VA Secretary Denis McDonough said as he announced the awards this month. “These grant funds will help our partner organizations across the country provide at-risk Veterans with the resources they need to stay in their homes, where they belong, or find a new home.”

Florida Nonprofits Delivering SSVF Housing Assistance

The 12 nonprofits awarded funding to provide SSVF services to Florida veterans are:

Florida veterans
Major General James “Hammer” Hartsell, center, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs, presented the Department’s Gold Medallion in recognition for “comprehensive services to improve the quality of life” for Florida veterans to Purpose Built Families Foundation at the agency’s Fort Lauderdale Veteran Service Center. Purpose Built Families is one of 12 Florida nonprofits funded by VA to deliver Supportive Services for Veteran Families.

Funding for Human and Financial Resources

VA has provided SSVF grants to Florida nonprofits since 2011. SSVF grants support outreach, case management, emergency housing and supplies, transportation, childcare, and temporary financial assistance for housing related costs such as utility payments and deposits, security deposits, and limited rental payments. In addition to traditional SSVF funding, this year VA awarded more than $5 million in extraordinary grants to help Florida SSVF programs expand health care navigation and legal services.

Supported by Florida’s Veteran Leadership

Major General James “Hammer” Hartsell, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs, advocated for expanded VA funding after meeting with Purpose Built Families Foundation’s Operation Sacred Trust SSVF team in Fort Lauderdale earlier this year.

“I have conversed with veterans at Operation Sacred Trust and witnessed PBFF’s teams’ consistent and comprehensive support to improve the quality of life for veterans by ensuring they receive the support they need to lead fulfilling and productive lives,” General Hartsell wrote after the visit. General Hartsell commended the program for its impact ending veteran homelessness and preventing suicide, which he said provides important support for Florida Governor’s Challenge Initiatives.

Florida veterans
U.S. Army Veteran Kevin Williams

Hope for a Better Future

U.S. Army Veteran Kevin Williams directs Purpose Built Families Operation Sacred Trust Veteran benefits team. Williams said VA’s SSVF grants and implementation of the recently enacted PACT Act offers hope that many Florida veterans will have a better future.

Thousands Remain Homeless

There are around 19 million U.S. veterans, according to data from the Department of Veterans Affairs. General Hartsell said Florida is home to 1.5 million veterans and their families. Despite SSVF’s success ending homelessness for tens of thousands of veterans over the past decade, on any given night, thousands of veterans are still living on the streets, in their vehicles, and in shelters throughout the United States.

Critical to Getting Veterans into Affordable, Sustainable Housing

The director of Carrfour Supportive Housing, Florida’s largest nonprofit affordable housing developer and the National Coalition of Homeless Veterans 2022 Outstanding Partnership of the Year Award Recipient, said VA’s public-private partnerships are critical to getting veterans off the streets, out of shelters, and into housing they can afford and sustain.

Fueling Collaborations

“Helping Florida veterans enjoy the future they’ve earned requires actual boots on the ground in every community embracing veterans with the respect, honor, care, and compassion they’ve earned,” said Carrfour CEO Stephanie Berman-Eisenberg. “VA funding fuels those collaborations that offer the best chance of success,” she said.

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline
The 988 lifeline provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, across the United States.

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