You don't need to have special training to support the veterans in your life, and we can all do something to help a veteran who is going through a difficult time. Even seemingly small actions can have a huge impact: Preventing suicide begins with just the willingness to Be There.
Showing your support can be as simple as sending a veteran a text message — inviting someone over to catch up or sharing a positive thought are both great ways to communicate that you care. Your words could be exactly what a veteran in crisis needs to hear, and could be a reminder of the many people out there who are willing to listen.
Simply reaching out to a veteran in need and opening the door for a discussion could make all the difference. Learn more ways to show your support and Be There by visiting VeteransCrisisLine.net/BeThere to find more resources and information.
H.R. 5895 became the first "minibus" appropriations package for FY 2019 to successfully pass through the halls of Congress when it was finalized on Sept. 13. President Trump signed the bill into law on Sept. 21. The package contained separate funding bills covering Energy and Water, Legislative, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs portfolios. The bill had previously been headed for passage in early July when it was held up over disagreements on how to fund the Mission Act – the rewrite of the VA's much discussed Choice program. To read more about this hold-up, see reporting from the Military Times here.
The package contains funding levels for two of our most important veteran homelessness programs at VA: the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program, and the Grant and Per Diem (GPD) program. GPD was never in danger this cycle, and the final number of $257 million – the same as in FY 2018 – remained consistent from the very beginning of the process. The SSVF program had a more complex pathway to its final number of $380 million, which is $40 million above FY 2018. Potential numbers suggested for the program ranged from $320 million to $450 million. NCHV was strongly supportive of the $450 million figure proposed by the Senate, but in the end Congress was forced to lower that number to in-part pay for the Mission Act funding shortfall.
Along with the actual appropriation bill required to fund VA programs, there is another authorizing bill which must be signed into law. That bill, S. 3479, goes further than usual authorization bills in that it extends for two years – rather than the traditional one year – our VA homeless programs. The Senate passed the bill on Sept. 18, and the House followed the following week on Sept. 25. NCHV thanks Congress for agreeing to this extension. The President is expected to sign S. 3479 soon.
The Department of Labor (DOL) is this year funded through the recent continuing appropriations act, H.R. 6157. This bill was also in conference for several weeks, but on Sept. 13 both the House and Senate agreed to a conference report. Both bodies have recently passed this bill, and today the President is holding a signing ceremony for this bill. Of most importance in the DOL portion of this bill is the section devoted to the Homeless Veteran Reintegration Program (HVRP). The funding level for FY 2019 for HVRP is to be $50 million, a $5 million increase over last year. Beyond the basic funding information, the conference report also contains language which will make HVRP available to veterans who have been homeless in the 60 days prior to their entering the program – fixing a long standing issue with veterans who are housed before they can be enrolled in HVRP. NCHV has been working on this issue for several years, and is very happy to have this instruction from Congress included in the conference report. More information on how this will affect your programs is to come.
Webinar: Making the Case for Affordable Housing and Ending Homelessness
In order to end homelessness, we must increase the supply of affordable housing in our communities. That means convincing a wide range of stakeholders to support affordable housing initiatives.
In this webinar, communications expert Tiffany Manuel provided a framework and strategies for building the case for affordable housing. Practitioners from Santa Clara, CA and Covington, KY walked through how their case-making efforts lead to success.
Breaking Down Barriers Hiring Event Helps Veterans Transition from Incarceration to Employment
This summer, the Northeast Ohio VA Health Care System Community Resource and Referral Center and Housing Urban Development Veteran Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) programs co-hosted the second annual Breaking Down Barriershiring event to address one of the toughest barriers to employment — a period of incarceration or an encounter with the justice system.
The referral center aims to help veterans and other job seekers transition from incarceration to the workforce, exit or avoid homelessness, and build better lives for themselves and their families.
The referral center connects with veterans who are homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless, with resources that can help them obtain or stay in permanent housing.
Conagra Brands Foundation invites U.S. based nonprofit organizations to submit one online letter of intent (LOI) annually between Nov. 1 and April 30. The LOI must strategically align with the Foundation's core areas of focus which include: food access, nutrition education, cooking skills, healthy and active lifestyles and select urban agricultural programs that have a clear community focus and provide entrepreneurial skills to help individuals participate in the farm-to-fork economy. Preference is given to highly effective nonprofits with high-impact projects that occur in and near the communities where Conagra employees live and work.
FedEx actively supports the communities it serves through strategic investment of their people, resources and network. Corporate resources include financial contributions, in-kind shipping services and volunteer services of employees. Written requests are accepted year-round and are generally reviewed within three weeks of receipt. Core giving areas include emergency and disaster relief, pedestrian and child safety, critical community needs, education, health, and human services.