FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Coalition for the Homeless Announces Rx: Housing Veterans Initiative
Goal of ambitious collaborative effort is to eliminate Veteran homelessness in Louisville
LOUISVILLE, KY (November 3, 2014) – Last year, there were 8,608 homeless Louisvillians. Of those, 916 were Veterans. In honor of November being Homelessness and Hunger Awareness Month, and on the cusp of Veterans Day (November 11), The Coalition for the Homeless is announcing an ambitious collaborative effort to eliminate Veteran homelessness in Louisville. The Rx: Housing Veterans program is the locally-inspired initiative of Zero: 2016, a national campaign led by Community Solutions to help communities do whatever it takes to end chronic and Veteran homelessness in the next two years. The first national Community Solutions effort, 100,000 Homes, housed over 100,000 homeless people who were most likely to die on the streets.
Because Louisville leaders and service providers feel that Rx: Housing Veterans is important and achievable, a variety of community partners have worked to commit resources and leverage federal funding for the cause of eliminating Veteran homelessness:
- The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is providing assistance for homeless Veterans to find permanent housing through the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program (HUD-VASH), and as part of this effort, Louisville will receive 44 vouchers. These funds will be awarded to the Robley Rex VA Medical Center and the Louisville Metro Housing Authority.
- Family Health Centers has been awarded $1.2 million over 3 years from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The grant will provide funding for services including case management, substance abuse and mental health treatment, and supported employment. These funds will be matched with 80 housing vouchers from Louisville Metro Housing Authority and the Louisville Continuum of Care.
- Volunteers of America of Kentucky has received a new three-year Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) grant totaling more than $2 million from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. SSVF will provide temporary financial assistance and support services to 125 Veteran families annually, helping them to remain stably housed in the community. Additionally, Volunteers of America of Kentucky has been awarded a $300,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Labor for the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program, which provides Veterans with job training and placement, education, and referrals to homelessness prevention resources. These programs complement Volunteers of America’s Veteran programs operating in more than a dozen communities in Kentucky, Tennessee, Southern Indiana, West Virginia, and Southern Ohio.
These partners and new funding resources are just part of the collaborative Rx: Housing Veterans effort which has brought together over a dozen agencies with the single goal of ending Veteran homelessness. Natalie Harris, Executive Director of The Coalition for the Homeless, reports, “Approximately 200 homeless Veterans are documented as being served in Louisville on any given night.” She believes, “This is a very manageable problem that we, as a community, can solve by working together to make it happen.”
Rx: Housing Veterans is the second initiative for the Rx: Housing program. The first Rx: Housing effort, launched in 2011, decreased the number of chronically homeless people living on the streets of Louisville by over 50%. The Coalition is confident that Rx: Housing Veterans will be successful, too, thanks to the resources already committed by several organizations. They are also seeking other individual and business sponsors.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer recently signed the national pledge to end Veteran homelessness in this community. The city is working with the Coalition for the Homeless and other groups to develop programs and find funding to meet that challenge.
Additional partners are being sought to support this initiative, which will serve hundreds of homeless Veterans. We firmly believe that no one who wore our country’s uniform should have to live on the streets or in shelter, and we are committed to working together to ensure that no one will. To learn more about how you or your business, church or community group can get involved or make an investment in the Rx: Housing Veterans project, click here. If your organization or foundation is interested in sponsoring Rx: Housing Veterans, please contact Catherine McGeeney, Development Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or (502) 636-9550 x13.
About the Coalition for the Homeless
The Coalition for the Homeless, located at 1300 S. 4th Street, Suite 250, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with a mission to prevent and eliminate homelessness in Louisville. Through the Coalition’s collaborative Rx: Housing project, the number of chronically homeless people on Louisville’s streets has dropped by over 50% since 2011. For more information, visit www.louhomeless.org, call (502) 636-9550, or find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LouHomeless.