Combination of grants provide vets with vital funds and counseling to get housed and prevent homelessness
New York, NY November 5 – Jericho Project, a nationally-acclaimed nonprofit ending homeless at its roots, has won a two-year $2-million grant from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to launch a new program to reduce homelessness among veterans and their families across the five boroughs of New York City.
The grant is part of the VA’s Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program. It will enable Jericho to fast-track more veterans to housing, providing them with both the financial support – 35% of the cost of their housing for two years – as well as the vital connections to a network of landlords who are proud to offer affordable, clean and safe housing to veterans and their families.
“Many Veterans face an increasingly challenging housing market with rents rising faster than the wages of low-income families. Offering a fixed rental subsidy for two years brings the cost of more units into reach, expanding the affordable housing supply. This subsidy, coupled with a strong partnership with the Department of Labor’s employment programs such as the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program, may give Veterans the time they need to increase their income so they are no longer severely rent burdened – and escape the continued specter of homelessness,” said John Kuhn, Director of the SSVF program, VA’s homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing initiative.
At the same time, Jericho received a separate grant from the VA for $200,000for the Grant and Per Diem (GPD) Case Management Program. . This program allows the nonprofit to provide a dedicated Case Manager to work closely with veterans as they move from homelessness into independent housing in the community. The Case Manager helps the formerly homeless veterans become more stable in their new apartments and access the employment, health and social support systems they need to sustain their housing. Crucially, this includes regular meetings for six months to ensure that the veteran has the resources to resume civilian life with dignity.
“These generous grants from the VA will not only close the gap between a veteran’s stability and homelessness, but it will also allow them to prevent homelessness and build for the future,” said Jericho Project CEO Tori Lyon.
Jericho brings to this goal its expert team of professionals who work with trusted landlords to locate apartments suitable for the veteran’s location and family size, help negotiate the rental agreement, and provide additional employment or services enabling the veteran to prepare themselves to live independently within two years.
Jericho services 2,500 adults and families, to include some 750 veterans, every year. Of those veterans, Jericho’s SSVF program supports 475 low-income veterans and their families every year, with assistance either to prevent imminent homelessness or to rapidly re-house veterans who have recently become homeless. The SSVF program helps them to obtain housing and employment as quickly as possible. This grant will enable them to serve an additional 90 veterans.
These new programs are part of Jericho’s groundbreaking Veterans Initiative first launched in 2007 that would result in the nonprofit designing and building three state-of-the-art LEED-certified Veterans Residences in the Bronx: Kingsbridge Terrace, Fordham Village and the newest residence Walton House.
There veterans from all eras pay a third of their income for their own lease and key to an affordable studio apartment with access to their case manager and other support services from employment and mental health on site and through Jericho’s network of providers. With studio apartments, community and computer rooms, gyms and gardens, veterans can access the specific counseling they need – whether they are coping with substance abuse or Post Traumatic Stress, seeking education and jobs, or reuniting with their families.
Additionally, the Jericho Veteran Employment Program (JVEP) helps veterans without a secure income to gain employment to prevent their homelessness.