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County awarded $2.5 Million to House homeless veterans

The County Health and Human Services Agency was recently awarded an annual $2.5 million federal grant to fund housing vouchers for homeless veterans.

The $2,520,346 grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will allow the County to issue housing vouchers to 175 unsheltered veterans in San Diego County.

The funds are administered through the Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program, or VASH, a collaborative effort between HUD and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). VASH provides rental assistance, ongoing VA case management and supportive services, including drug and alcohol counseling and finance education to veterans without a stable home..”

Matt Foster, commander of the Escondido-Valley Center chapter of Veterans of Foreign Wars, told the newspaper, “I think that it wonderful to see our government supporting our veterans. Through our partners, such as Homeless Veterans of San Diego, the North County Veterans Stand Down has housed nearly 100 homeless veterans. The VASH process can be daunting, but the most difficult part of it is finding landlords who will accept the vouchers in San Diego’s saturated housing market.”

According to the 2019 Point-In-Time homeless count, about 14% of the local homeless population has served in the military. Veterans are more likely than civilians to be homeless due to higher rates of traumatic brain injuries and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The $2.5 million grant supplements federal funding the County has already received under VASH. Overall, the County’s VASH program has assisted more than 1,000 veterans in finding homes.

For information on applying for the vouchers, call (877) 478-5478. The County is also actively seeking landlords interested in housing veterans selected for the vouchers.

Landlords interested in participating in the rental assistance programs should call 2-1-1 San Diego or visit the organization’s website. 2-1-1 San Diego will refer landlords to the proper jurisdiction.

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