Michigan is hardly the only U.S. state reaching out o former service members when it comes to housing needs.
Chicago, IL (PRWEB) October 01, 2013
While Veterans across the country struggle with housing needs, a new federal grant is set to help ease this burden in Eaton and Barry counties of Michigan. The Federal Savings Bank has been informing its prospective veteran loan applicants that The U.S. Veteran Affairs Office awarded a $171,380 grant to the Eaton County Housing Services, which will allow the non-profit organization to find and help nearly 100 veterans within the two counties.
According to the Lansing State Journal published on September 22nd, Eaton County Housing Services is only one of 12 Michigan organizations receiving grants this year as part of the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program.
As highlighted by Denise Dunn, director of Eaton County Housing Services, one issue is getting help to those who qualify for it but may not identify as veterans.
"We know there are veterans out there who are struggling but they don't self identify and I don't always have the resources to go out looking for them," Dunn told the Journal.
Meanwhile, Mel Burke, who will serve as the case manager and help find veterans in need, said that this may come down to an issue of pride. Burke, who is himself a 21-year veteran of the U.S. Army, hopes to help struggling veterans understand that help is available, and there is nothing wrong with taking it.
"I think primarily it's a pride issue," Burke told the Journal. "These individuals are proud of what they've done but may be ashamed of the circumstances they come home to. In the beginning education is going to be our biggest obstacle."
Despite these challenges, Dunn told the Journal she is confident in assisting every last veteran the grant can help and plans on applying for the grant next year, as well.
"If we can find 100 of them this year, I'm sure we can find 100 of them next year," she said. "They put their life on the line for us. This is one small thing we can do for them."
Similar programs abound across the nation
Michigan is hardly the only U.S. state reaching out to former service members when it comes to housing needs.
In Montana, the Volunteers of America Northern Rockies are aiming to help veterans and their families end homelessness or avoid it altogether. The organization is taking advantage of the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program, the same program that awarded grants in Michigan.
Scott Powers, director of the program in Helena and Billings, told the Independent Record that this outreach program can help build relationships with local landlords, as well as help former servicemembers overcome obstacles like poor credit histories.
These programs highlight the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' focus on combating homelessness among veterans, a problem VA Secretary General Eric Shinseki said he wants eradicated by 2015.
Contact The Federal Savings Bank, a veteran owned bank, to discuss affordable housing options such as a VA home loan for the eligible.