Merkley Announces $9 Million in Federal Grants for Homeless Veterans in Oregon

WASHINGTON, DC — Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley today announced that communities in Oregon will receive $9 million in new funding to help homeless veterans and their families find housing and other services to get them back on their feet. This funding comes from the Supportive Services for Veterans Families (SSVF) program within the Veterans Administration (VA). Organizations in Multnomah County and Lane County will receive grants of $6 million and $3 million respectively.

“Our veterans have stood up for us, and we must stand up for them,” said Merkley. “No one who has fought for our country overseas should return home to sleep on the streets or in a homeless shelter. It’s great news that Oregon will have more resources to ensure that our vets and their families receive the support they deserve as they transition back to civilian life.”

After noticing that Oregon had only received one SSVF grant in 2011, Senator Merkley’s office convened a meeting of veterans and housing advocates to let them know about the SSVF program and the opportunity for future grant opportunities to help Oregon veterans. In the following years, Oregon grant funding has dramatically increased. In 2012, organizations in Oregon received six grants totaling $2.5 million and Oregon was the second highest awarded state, behind only Florida. In 2012, Oregon received six grants totaling $3.3 million.

This year’s grants will go to Transition Projects in Multnomah County and St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County, helping veterans and their families in the Portland and Eugene metro areas and surrounding regions.

Under the SSVF program, the VA offers community-based organizations grants to promote housing stability among very low-income Veteran families who reside in or are transitioning to permanent housing. These grants provide eligible veteran families with outreach, case management, and assistance in obtaining VA and other benefits.