Coming Home Project
5:23 pm
Mon April 9, 2012

HUD Grants Come to Connecticut to Help Homeless Veterans

This month, the federal government awarded the state $1.46 million dollars from the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development and the VA. The grants are known as HUD VASH and they're used to help veterans avoid homelessness.

The housing voucher program has existed for four years. Since then more than 400 vouchers were allocated to housing authorities across the state to help chronically homeless veterans, including women veterans with children.

Preston Maynard, is Director of the Homeless Program for VA Connecticut Healthcare System. Maynard says HUD-VASH is more than just a rental subsidy.

"It comes with case management to be successful in their apartments. So if they've had multiple rentals that they've failed or multiple times that they've been homeless than they meet that definition of chronically homeless."

This round of HUD VASH provides for 165 housing vouchers.  But Maynard says there's always more need than available vouchers.

"Public housing authorities sometimes have openings but they're usually hundreds of people, or even thousands of people trying to get in."

For every veteran that's helped through HUD-VASH, there are two to three others who also need help finding affordable housing with services nearby.

Maynard says that's where a partnership between the VA and non profit groups in multiple communities play a vital role to helping veterans find a place to stay as well as support. 

In the next couple of months, 15 homeless and at risk veterans living in eastern Connecticut will have an apartment of their own thanks to the vouchers. They'll move into a new supportive housing space being built in Jewett City by the The American Legion Veterans Housing, Inc.