The Opportunity Council's Whatcom Homeless Service Center was awarded a $684,000 grant July 26 from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to provide homeless prevention and rehousing services for local veterans who are homeless or at risk of losing their housing.
Opportunity Council will provide the services for this grant in Whatcom and Island counties and act as the lead agency with partners in neighboring counties that include Serenity House and Peninsula Housing Authority in Clallam County, OlyCap in Jefferson County, and Skagit Community Action Agency in Skagit County. This is one of two grants awarded in Washington State, and one of only 85 grantees nationwide, to receive an award under the VA's new Supportive Services for Veteran Families program.
”Partner agencies are committed to ending veteran homelessness," said Greg Winter, Director of the Homeless Service Center and chair of the Whatcom County Coalition to End Homelessness. "This collaboration with the VA and community-based providers gets us one giant step closer to that goal."
The grant is expected to serve 275 veteran households throughout a five-county region that includes Whatcom, Skagit, Island, Jefferson, and Clallam counties.
Through this new program, participating veterans will receive financial assistance, case management, and other supportive services such as financial literacy training, credit counseling, child care and parenting assistance, and other services that are linked to long-term housing stability. This program is expected to begin in September.