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11-13-03, 01:16 PM
A Accepting Applications for Homeless Grants

WASHINGTON (Nov. 12, 2003) - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is
accepting applications from public and nonprofit groups to provide up to
1,500 new transitional housing beds to help veterans recover from
homelessness.

"VA is proud to take the lead in providing health care and benefits to
homeless veterans," said the Secretary of Veterans Affairs Anthony J.
Principi. "However, we cannot do it alone. VA forms alliances with a
variety of partners, and together we strive to break the destructive cycle
of homelessness for our veterans."

Under VA's Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem Program, VA provides funds
to community, faith-based and nonprofit organizations, and state, local,
tribal and territorial governments to help homeless veterans. VA can
provide per diem payments to recipients for up to 36 months under this
program.

To obtain an application packet or needed assistance, contact the Grant and
Per Diem Program toll-free at 1-877-332-0334 or download the application
from VA's Homeless Assistance Programs and Initiatives Web page at
http://www.appc1.va.gov/homeless/page.cfm?pg=3. Deadline for grant
applications is Jan. 28, 2004.

Organizations seeking funding may obtain technical assistance by contacting
the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans at 1-800-VET-HELP or by e-mail
at www.nchv.org.

An estimated 25 percent of the homeless adults in the United States are
veterans -- 200,000 men and women who served this country in uniform.
During fiscal years 1994 through 2003, VA provided more than $170 million in
grants and per diem payments in all 50 states and the District of Columbia
for homeless assistance programs.

Currently, more than 6,000 beds are available for homeless veterans through
these initiatives. When the latest applications are approved, approximately
8,000 community-based beds will be available.

VA is the only federal agency providing substantial hands-on assistance
directly to the homeless. In addition to the Grant and Per Diem Program, VA
administers specialized homeless assistance programs, including health care
and rehabilitation programs for homeless veterans and outreach to provide
benefits counseling and referrals to other VA programs.

In January, VA joined with the Departments of Housing and Urban Development
(HUD) and Health and Human Services (HHS) in a $35 million initiative to
expand federal support for homeless programs. In October, Secretary
Principi was elected chairman of the federal Interagency on Homelessness.

"Homeless veterans want to regain personal pride and once again become
productive citizens," said Principi. "In order to do that, they need access
to substance abuse recovery and mental health programs, affordable housing
and employment opportunities. It takes a network of partnerships to provide
a full range of services."