Lowey, Maloney and Engel Announce Investment to Help 700 Homeless Veterans and Their Families in the Hudson Valley 16 July 2013
$2.4 Million in U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Funding Will Support Local Service Providers
More Than 62,000 Veterans Homeless Each Night
Elmsford, NY – Congresswoman Nita Lowey (NY-17), Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) and Congressman Eliot Engel (NY-16) today announced a $2.4 million investment from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to prevent at-risk veterans from becoming homeless and to rapidly re-house those who have recently fallen into homelessness throughout the Hudson Valley.
The $1.89 million investment in the Westchester Community Opportunity Program (WestCOP) will serve 450 families and a $500,000 investment in the Hudson River Housing program will serve 250 families through the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) Program. The SSVF Program provides a range of services that promote housing stability and play a key role in connecting veterans and their family members to VA services such as mental health care and other benefits.
“The sad reality is that homelessness plagues far too many of our nation’s veterans and their families,” said Congresswoman Lowey. “With these badly-needed funds, fewer of our veterans in the Lower Hudson Valley will be without a roof over their head. We must continue our work to ensure that, one day, no one who bravely wore the uniform ever finds themselves or their family living on the streets. They deserve better.”
“It is both tragic and shameful that tens of thousands of veterans are homeless on any given night – this investment is a step in the right direction for the veterans in our community who deserve better from the country that they fought so hard to defend,” said Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney. “Our work will continue so long as even one veteran falls asleep on our streets.”
“I am glad to hear that the federal government is working together with our local groups to assist our homeless and at-risk veterans and their families,” said John Hussey, Colonel in the US Army Reserve and Chair of Rep. Maloney’s Veterans Advisory Board. “It is a step in the right direction for all our American heroes, particularly those who have served multiple combat tours since 9-11, and those who have served in combat to preserve the freedoms we as a nation so cherish.”
Rep. Eliot Engel said, “The plight of our homeless veterans is a national tragedy. These men and women have sacrificed for our country, and every night more than 60,000 veterans are homeless in the United States. These grants are important in our correcting this unconscionable situation. They have served our nation to protect our freedoms and liberty, and it is shameful to forget them. We must keep our promise to now protect them. We owe them nothing less.”
“We at WestCOP are excited to receive this opportunity to expand our existing services to Veterans and their families. Since 2011, we have operated a Supportive Services for Veterans and their families program working throughout seven counties (Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Rockland, Orange, Ulster & Sullivan) of the Hudson Valley to end veterans homelessness. Our agency is dedicated to “Helping People & Changing Lives” and we will pursue doing just that with 450 veterans and their families in the 2013 – 2014 program cycle,” said Kiron Dawkins, Regional Director of WestCOP.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) estimates that 62,619 veterans are homeless on any given night in the United States. Although 7% of the general population can claim veteran status, nearly 13% of the homeless adult population are veterans.