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November 2018 NCHV eNewsletter

November 2018 NCHV eNewsletter
NCHV is ending homelessness among veterans by shaping public policy, promoting collaboration, and building the capacity of service providers
The Home Depot Foundation is Accepting Proposals for Veteran Housing Grants
The Home Depot Foundation’s (THDF) Veteran Housing Grants Program awards grants to nonprofit organizations for the new construction or rehabilitation of permanent supportive housing and transitional facilities for veterans. Awards typically range from $100,000 to $500,000.

Organizations or individuals with projects focused on single home construction or repair would not qualify for this program and may be a better fit for the Community Impact Grant programs. Single repair requests should reach out to the THDF's National Partners who are already funded to assist qualifying veterans.

Eligible Applicants
  • Grants are only awarded to 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations that have been in good standing with the Internal Revenue Service for at least five years.
  • Organizations with a current operating budget of at least $300,000 and audited financial statements from the past three years.
  • Organizations with previous experience developing, and either currently manage or own, veteran specific housing.
  • Organizations must have a 15+ year ownership stake in the development.
  • Organizations must be involved in the Continuum of Care or local collaboration to end homelessness in their community.

Eligible Developments/Programs
  • New construction and rehabilitation of multifamily, permanent supportive housing or transitional housing.
  • Grants will be awarded solely for the physical construction or repair of housing for veterans (hard costs). THDF does not provide funding for soft costs, such as furnishings, rental subsidies, tenant services, etc.
  • Target population of honorably discharged veterans, at or below 80% AMI.
  • THDF grant funding must comprise less than 50% of the total development cost of the project/program.
  • The amount of funding requested does not exceed $20,000 per veteran unit.
  • 75% of the development/program’s funding sources have been identified at the time of proposal submission.
  • Project will commence within twelve months of proposal submission.
  • At least 20% of the units must be reserved for veterans.
  • Proposals requesting above $100,000 must provide evidence of a third party binding agreement that ensures the units are a.) Reserved for veterans; b.) Occupied by veterans for a minimum of 15 years for rental or 3 years for homeownership (i.e. project-based HUDVASH, other funder requirement, deed restriction, zoning requirement, etc.).
  • Supportive services must be provided.

The next deadline for applications is Dec. 5, 2018. To complete an eligibility quiz and learn more about how to apply, click here.
Hill Watch: Election Results and Veteran Homelessness, House Flips - What Does this Mean for Us?
The midterm elections held in November have changed the landscape of Congress, starting in the new year. While each national party is deeply interested and invested in the task of ending veteran homelessness, they each have certain aspects of the system that they would like to focus on and prioritize. With the House of Representatives becoming a Democrat-led body, what can we expect these members to be interested in? The easiest way to know is to look at their platform, and what they say when they talk about the issue publicly. 
With that in mind, we find all of the bipartisan priorities of ending veteran homelessness: affordable or permanent supportive housing creation, robust funding for our existing programs, and ensuring programs are working as Congress intended. But we also find the specific issues that animate the Democrat members of Congress: homeless women veterans, veterans with families experiencing homelessness, and making VA homeless programs work better in rural America. These are the topics that we can expect the new House of Representatives to be most interested in.
That's important to know because we all have some work to do - especially you, providers! That is, we must get to know our new Representatives and Senators - and get them to know us. The new members won't begin their new jobs in earnest until January, but it never hurts to get a head start. There are a few things we can all do now, and a few things to start thinking about for January. 
  • Figure out who in your Congressional delegation is new. Refer to online trackers, or the local media coverage in your area to determine if your congressional district(s) have new elected officials. And don't forget, your service area can include more congressional districts than just the one the office is in!
  • Prepare for a meeting when they take office. This can include identifying (as simple as a Google search) if they said anything about veterans or homelessness during their campaign - the more you know about where they are coming from, the better you can inform them about where you would like them to go on the issues. Rewrite any white papers or promotional handouts you might need with the best information available at the start of the new year, and with your new audience in mind. 
  • Set the meeting as soon as you can. While new Members will be inundated with meeting requests in the early part of their tenure, it's important for you to get in as early as possible. The best thing to happen is that you are able to help the Member shape their positions on veteran homelessness issues by being a helpful, informative voice from their district. To that end, if the Member herself is too busy to see you in the first few months, it is always a good idea to meet with the veteran affairs staffer on her staff. Relationships with the new staff are also crucial. 
  • Finally, get the Member out to your program. Again, this won't happen right away - but offer early and often when you interact with staff. A new Member will be starved for positive media attention - which you can give her, in exchange for an hour of her undivided attention during a tour of your program or facility. This should be the end goal for all your interactions with new Members of Congress. 
Even before the swearing-in, you can get in contact with your newly-elected Members of Congress. The most direct way is usually by calling the number provided on their campaign website. If you prefer mail, you can reach them by addressing it to:

For the House:
Representative-Elect (Name) (State-District No.)
United States House of Representatives
B240 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
For the Senate:
Office of Senator (Name)
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510
NCHV is here to help you with these tasks. If you have any questions about this kind of work, please don't hesitate to email our Director of Policy at - or, call our office at 202-546-1969.
Challenges and Strategies for Serving Unstably Housed Veterans in Rural Areas: Evidence from the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) Program
Although rural Veterans account for roughly one of seven veterans experiencing homelessness on a given night, there is limited research about the nature of their housing instability and homelessness. Most research that seeks to understand “what works” for serving veterans experiencing homelessness has been conducted in urban settings. Through interviews with Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) grantees, Tom Byrne and colleagues uncovered the various challenges to serving veterans in rural areas. In this webinar he and SSVF Regional Coordinator Mike Boyd discuss these challenges and propose strategies and needed resources for overcoming them.

This webinar, presented by the VA National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans, will take place Dec. 11, 2018, at 1:00 p.m. ET.

Funding Opportunities
American Family Insurance Dreams Foundation provides grants to programs that remove barriers to short and/or long-term needs of individuals and families. Specific areas of grant making focus include food security, housing, transportation, and daycare. The average grant award is $10,000, and eligible organizations must be in one of the 19 states in which the foundation operates. The next grant cycle begins in February.

The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation was formed to reach low-income and underserved populations and marginalized communities. The Foundation is focused on homelessness, medical care, at-risk youth, education and the needs of wounded veterans.