Homeless veteran assistance

Homeless veterans in 35 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico will get more assistance, thanks to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) grants providing $36.7 million to community groups to create 1,526 beds for homeless veterans this year.

“These grants provide a helping hand to veterans who have served our nation in uniform,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. James B. Peake. “Our partnerships with community-based organizations provide safe, temporary housing while these veterans return to productive lives.”

VA has identified public and community non-profit groups eligible to receive payments for housing and supportive services to homeless veterans, including 49 grants for vans that will transport homeless veterans to health care and training programs.

The grants are part of VA’s continuing efforts to reduce homelessness among veterans. VA has the largest integrated network of homeless assistance programs in the country. In many cities and rural areas, VA social workers and other clinicians working with community and faith-based partners conduct extensive outreach programs, clinical assessments, medical treatments, alcohol and drug abuse counseling and employment assistance.

VA’s grant and per diem program helped reduce the number of veterans who are homeless on a typical night last year by 21 percent to about 154,000 veterans. VA also provides health care to about 100,000 homeless veterans, compensation and assistance in obtaining foreclosed homes and excess federal property, including clothes, footwear, blankets and other items.

More information about VA’s homeless programs is available on the Internet at www.va.gov/homeless.

DAV vans

The Disabled American Veterans (DAV) organization is running a VAHC van from Durango on Tuesdays and Thursdays — call Mike Dunaway at 247-2198 — and from the Farmington area on Mondays and Wednesdays — call Harriet Mulnix (505) 793-1782.

Durango VA Clinic

The Durango VA Outpatient Clinic is located at 400 South Camino Del Rio, Suite G, next to Big 5 Sports. Phone number is 247-2214.

Further information

For information on these and other veterans’ benefits, call or stop by the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office located at the Senior Center in the Pagosa Springs Community Center on Hot Springs Boulevard. The office number is 31-3837, the fax number is 264-4014, cell number is 946-6648, and e-mail is afautheree@archuletacounty.org. The office is open from 8 to 4, Monday through Friday. Bring your DD Form 214 (Discharge) for application for VA programs, and for filing in the VSO office.