The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced the availability of funding for nonprofit organizations and other groups that serve veterans through VA’s Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program. The SSVF program assists very low-income veteran families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.  SSVF grantees currently operate in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Guam, working within their communities to end or prevent homelessness among veteran families. VA relies on strong, targeted collaborations in key areas at Federal and local levels and engages community partners to develop innovative and forward-thinking solutions that can lead to scalable and replicable models of service.
SSVF grantees typically serve veterans with incomes below 30 percent of the area median income. Grantees must follow the housing first approach, which centers on permanently housing homeless veterans quickly without preconditions and providing supportive services as needed. Additional SSVF requirements are that grantees engage in outreach to find and serve veterans in need, provide veterans with case management, and assist them in obtaining VA and other public benefits. SSVF served over 125,000 veterans and their family members in fiscal year (FY) 2018. As a result of these and other efforts, veteran homelessness is down significantly since the launch of the Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness in 2010. Since 2010, homelessness among veterans had dropped by nearly 50 percent. 

The funding priorities for this NOFA are:

  1. Existing grantees with 3-year accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) in Employment and Community Services: Rapid Rehousing and Homeless Prevention standards, a 4-year accreditation from the Council on Accreditation’s (COA) accreditation in Housing Stabilization and Community Living Services standards, or a 3-year accreditation in The Joint Commission’s (JC) Behavioral Health Care: Housing Support Services Standards.
  2. Existing grantees seeking to renew their grants not included under Priority 1.
  3. Non-renewable grants for a 2-year period to eligible entities providing services to very low-income veteran families who are occupying permanent housing in the areas of one of the Continuums of Care (CoC) listed in the award information section of the NOFA. VA has designed this 2-year effort to provide a surge of resources in communities with high need. Only existing grantees currently providing services in an identified target community are eligible to apply for additional funds in that target community they currently serve under Priority 3.
  4. New applicants only, who are seeking to provide services in the areas of one of the CoCs listed in the Award Information section of the NOFA. These locations have been selected based on the current unmet service needs and the levels of Veteran homelessness, and VA also seeks to ensure that supportive services grants are equitably distributed across geographic regions, including rural communities and tribal lands.
The Federal Register notice of funding availability, application materials, and an online training that describes the NOFA contents and application process may be found at www.va.gov/homeless/ssvf. Applications are due by 4:00 p.m. ET on Feb. 22, 2019.