VA Commits 400 Million of Emergency Aid to Help Homeless Veterans During Pandemic
Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) September 21, 2020 – The Department of Veterans Affairs recently announced that it had pledged another $400 million to help veterans affected by or at risk for homelessness. This money is in addition to the $200 million earmarked for housing homeless veterans and testing them for COVID-19 in April. The CARES Act provided the agency with nearly $20 billion total in emergency funding for COVID-19 response.
“Before the pandemic veterans were an extremely vulnerable population to homelessness,” said James G. Fausone, lead attorney at Legal Help for Veterans. “That problem has now been deeply exacerbated by the pandemic and the resulting economic downturn. Without increased access to permanent housing, there will be a drastic rise in homelessness rates among veterans.”
Access to secure housing keeps veterans safe from COVID-19 infection because it helps them maintain social distancing and quarantine efforts and promotes healthier habits that can keep transmission rates down. It keeps them off the street, which is especially important now since many shelters and other resources typically utilized by homeless veterans have been closed down.
This latest emergency money will go toward the Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program, which offers veterans secure housing. According to the agency, around $88 million has also been provided for VA’s Grant and Per Diem Program and $10 million for the Health Care for Homeless Veterans Program.
Some feel that it is not enough. Critics claim that at least $1.3 billion is needed to address the problem of homelessness among veterans. However, the proposed legislation could allow the VA to use existing money and resources to provide expanded services to veterans. The agency does not currently have the authorization to provide food, phones and other supplies to homeless veterans.
Legal Help for Veterans is a VA disability claim law firm in Northville, Michigan, that exclusively serves veterans. For more information on the firm and how to contact them, visit https://www.legalhelpforveterans.com/.