WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski (Both D-Md.) today joined Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald to announce $240,884 in renewal funding offered through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Grant and Per Diem (GPD) Program to Way Station, Inc. in Frederick County to help address the needs of the chronically mentally ill homeless Veteran population.
“In the richest state in the richest country in the world, it is simply unacceptable that anyone, especially veterans, should experience homelessness,” said Senator Cardin, a member of the Senate Finance Committee. “We have a special obligation to support these men and women on the home front so our veterans who are coping with mental illness and their families can find housing and the help they need to live full and fulfilling lives after serving our nation. This grant will make a real difference in the lives of Maryland veterans and I look forward to continuing to support federal investments like this one.”
“I believe our support for our military in the field must be matched by support for our veterans at home,” Senator Mikulski said. “That’s why I’m so proud to announce this grant to support Way Station as it helps vets get off the street and get back on the job. From adults with mental disabilities or substance abuse problems to adolescents with emotional challenges, Way Station is here to help with mental health services, housing resources and job training. These funds in the federal checkbook for helping homeless vets are a critical part of that work. The nation owes our vets a debt of gratitude. I will keep fighting to show that gratitude not just with words, but with deeds.”
“These important grant renewals will allow community agencies to continue to provide critical transitional housing services where they are needed,” said VA Secretary Robert A. McDonald. “As a key component of the VA’s plan to significantly reduce homelessness among Veterans, the Grant and Per Diem Special Need grants will provide funding to community agencies that provide services to homeless Veterans.
The program promotes the development and provision of supportive housing and services with the goal of helping homeless Veterans achieve residential stability, increase their skill levels and income, and obtain greater self-determination. Specifically, GPD Special Need grant funding will assist with additional operational costs that would not otherwise be incurred but for the fact that the recipient is providing transitional housing and services for the GPD “Special Need” populations, including women, chronically mentally ill, frail elderly, terminally ill, and individuals who have the care of minor dependents.
As a result of these and other efforts, Veteran homelessness is down significantly since the launch of the Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness in 2010.
More information about VA’s homeless programs is available at www.va.gov/homeless. Community organizations seeking details and/or more information may visit VA’s National Grant and Per Diem Program website www.va.gov/homeless/GPD.ASP.