March 5, 2014
By Rachel Dove
WILLIAMSON - Future Generations for Rural America is a group founded on, and based on, empowering communities to shape their futures. The group is now launching a Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program that is being funded by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.
Richard Allen, case manager for SSVF who is assisting homeless veterans, spoke before the Mingo County Commission on Wednesday, in hopes of getting the word out about the program that was birthed with the needs of veterans in mind.
“No soldiers left behind, and no soldiers on the street,” Allen said as he began enlightening the commissioners and those attending the morning meeting. “This is our mission statement and our goal is to see it followed through each and every day. Veterans put their lives on the line for our freedom, now it’s our place to help them.”
The goal of the SSVF is to promote housing stability among very low-income veteran families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless in Mingo, Logan, Boone and Lincoln counties.
The SSVF program defines a veteran family as 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.”
To be eligible, a veteran family must have an annual income that is less than 50 percent of the median family income for the county.
Future Generations will provide eligible veteran families with case management services and assistance in obtaining VA benefits and other public benefits, such as health-care services, daily living services (home-care, health-care aids), personal financial planning services, income support services (SSI, TANF, SNAP, unemployment, etc.), employment and training services, legal aid, child care and housing counseling services.
In addition, Future Generations may also provide time-limited payments to third parties (landlords, utility and moving companies, and licensed child-care providers) if these payments help veteran families stay in, or acquire, permanent housing on a sustainable basis.
Future Generations is seeking local organizations that provide VA benefits and other public benefits to partner or link with. They are working to establish a network of organizations to which they can refer veteran families for supportive services, and that will refer eligible veterans to their program.
For additional information about the SSVF Program, please email Nicky Bassford, program director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or Richard Allen, case manager, at email@example.com. Allen can also be contacted by calling 304-687-6492.