(TYLER MORNING TELEGRAPH) - The Salvation Army in Tyler has accepted a $150,000 grant through the Texas Veterans Commission Fund to provide emergency financial assistance to prevent and end homelessness for veterans and their families.
"According to current national statistics, veterans are twice as likely as any other American to become homeless," according to The Salvation Army. "The unemployment rate for recently discharged veterans is nearly three times the national average. In East Texas, according to our most recent Community Needs Assessment conducted by the East Texas Human Needs Network, 37 percent of Veterans interviewed were living below the poverty line, 34 percent were living in temporary housing, and 8 percent were homeless. 71 percent said they were struggling financially."
Those who are homeless or at risk of being homeless can begin establishing eligibility for assistance now by calling Indus McDuff at 903-592-4361 ext. 77533.
The Emergency Veterans' Assistance Program (EVAP) goal is to rapidly transition program participants to housing stability through the clients' own means, links to community resources and mainstream benefits, and development of a plan to prevent future instability. The two program areas will include homeless prevention and rapid re-housing with the goals of assisting veterans and their families to obtain and/or remain in permanent housing, achieve housing stability, and/or prevent future instability. Types of financial assistance include rent, utility, deposit and mortgage assistance.
It is important to note that 100 percent of this funding is providing direct assistance to veterans and their families. The administrative and operational costs of the program are being absorbed by The Salvation Army in Tyler.
"There is a great need for financial donations from the community to cover these costs and ensure that we can successfully prevent and end homelessness for our friends and neighbors who have selflessly put their lives on the line to protect and serve our country," according to the release.
In order to receive financial assistance or services funded by the Texas Veterans Commission, veterans and their dependents must qualify for the program. Criteria include, but are not limited to, the following:
1. Have an initial consultation with a case manager or other authorized representative.
2. The household must be at or below 100 percent of the area median income.
3. The household must either be homeless or at risk of losing housing with no appropriate subsequent housing options identified and lacking the financial resources and support networks needed to obtain immediate housing or remain in existing housing.
For more information or to make an appointment for initial screening, contact Indus McDuff, EVAP case manager, at 903-592-4361 ext. 77533.