Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF)SSVF Grants: What They are (and Aren’t)Linda Southcott, Supervisor Regional CoordinatorJeffrey Houser, Compliance Officer
SSVF Program Update
Where are we in the process?VA has awarded $59.5M to 85 grantees (private non-profit organizations and consumer cooperatives) in 40 states and the District of Columbia.Currently grantees are completing the Grant Agreement and other required documents.Anticipate services to begin between August 15-30th, 2011.Grants run for a One Year Period.
SSVF Grants:What They Are...
Goal/Purpose of SSVF GrantsTo provide supportive service grants to private non-profit and consumer cooperative’s who will coordinate or provide supportive services to very low income veteran families.1) Are residing in permanent housing2) Are homeless and scheduled to become residents of permanent housing within a specified time period.3) After exiting permanent housing within a specified time period, are seeking other housing that is responsive to such very low-income veteran family’s needs and preferences.Modeled after HUD’s HPRP initiative
Grants for VA entities:Granteeswill be community-based organizations.Services for the Veteran only:Services are available for Veteransand their families.Reactions to homelessness:Focus is on homelesspreventionandrapidre-housing.Permanent subsidies to Veterans and their families:Temporaryfinancial assistance payments may be provided to third parties on behalf of participants.
SSVF Grants:What They Are Not…
Homelesshas the meaning given that term in section 103 of the McKinney- Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11302).Permanent housingmeans community-based housing without a designated length of stay.Supportive servicesmeans any of the following provided to address the needs of a participant:Outreach services as specified under § 62.30 of the Final Rule;Case management services as specified under § 62.31 of the Final Rule;Assisting participants in obtaining VA benefits as specified under § 62.32 of the Final Rule;Assisting participants in obtaining and coordinating other public benefits as specified under § 62.33 of the Final Rule; andOther services as specified under § 62.34 of the Final Rule.
Very low-income veteran familymeans a veteran family whose annual income, as determined in accordance with 24 CFR 5.609, does not exceed 50 percent of the median income for an area or community.The median income for an area or community will be determined using the income limits most recently published by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for programs under section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f) (http:// www.huduser.org).Veteranmeans a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service, and who was discharged or released there from under conditions other than dishonorable.Veteran familymeans a veteran who is a single person or a family in which the head of household, or the spouse of the head of household, is a veteran.
Required Supportive Services:Outreach servicesCase management servicesAssist participants to obtain VA benefitsAssist participants to obtain and coordinate the provision of other public benefits provided by Federal, State, or local agencies, or any eligible entity in the area or community served by the grantee (provided directly or through referral to partner agencies)
SupportiveServices:What They Are…
Optional Supportive Services:Temporary financial assistance paymentsPayments must help participants remain in or obtain permanent housing and can be for the following purposes:Payments are subject to the restrictions including the development of sustainability plan and payments can only be made to third parties.
SupportiveServices:What They Are…(cont’d)
Grantees may use a maximum of 10 percent of supportive services grant funds for administrative costs.Grantees must use between 60 and 75 percent of supportive services grant funds to provide supportive services to very low-income veteran familiesGrantees must use between 20 and 35 percent of supportive services grant funds to provide supportive services to very low-income veteran families who are residing in permanent housing,VA encourages grantees to target prevention assistance to those very low- income veteran families at the greatest risk of becoming homeless.
When serving eligible participants, in addition to the required supportive services, grantees may focus on providing the following supportive services:Housing counseling; assisting participants in understanding leases; securing utilities; making moving arrangements; representative payee services concerning rent and utilities; and mediation and outreach to property owners related to locating or retaining housing.Grantees may also assist participants by providing rental assistance, security or utility deposits, moving costs or emergency supplies, using other Federal resources, such as the HPRP Program, or supportive services grant funds.
What SSVF Is Not
The SSVF Program is not intended to provide long-term support for participants, nor will it be able to address all of the financial and supportive services needs of participants that affect housing stability.When participants require long- term support, grantees should focus on connecting such participants to mainstream Federal and community resources that can provide ongoing support as required.Grantees will not provide direct healthcare / therapeutic services or daily living supports.
When serving participants who are residing in permanent housing, it is helpful to remember that the defining question to ask is:“Would this individual or family be homelessbut forthis assistance?”
The aim of the provision of supportive services is to rapidly transition to stable housing. In doing so, Grantees are expected to leverage supportive services grant.Grantees are encouraged to establish relationships with the local community’s Continuum of Care.VA staff are encouraged to establish relationships with SSVF Grantees.SSVF Regional Coordinators will liaison with Grantees and VA staff to develop a community network for information and referral.
EvictionDischarge institution (including prisons, mental health institutions, hospitals);Residing in housing not meant for human habitation;Sudden and significant loss of income;Sudden and significant increase in utility costs;Mental health and substance use issues;Physical disabilities and other chronic health issues, including HIV/ AIDS;Severe housing cost burden (>50% of housing costs);Experience of homelessness in last 12 months;
Young head of household:Involvement with child welfare, including foster care;Pending foreclosure of rental housing;Extremely low income (<30% AMI);High overcrowding;Past institutional care;Recent traumatic life event or recent health crisis that prevented the household from meeting its financial responsibilities;Credit problems that preclude obtaining of housing; orSignificant amount of medical debt.
How SSVF Complements Other ProgramsA services “bridge”/enhancement to permanent supportive housing (e.g. in conjunction with the HUD-VASH Program)A stand-alone, short-term, intensive case management model (e.g. in conjunction with a program using a critical time intervention model)A homelessness, eviction, or housing crisis prevention program (e.g. in conjunction with a program such as HUD’s Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP)
Integrating SSVF intoVA and Community
For More Information
For more information about the SSVF Program, please visit:http://www.va.gov/homeless/SSVF.aspEmail:SSVF@va.govorCall (toll-free) 1-877-737–0111