HUD releases funds to help San Diego area's homeless veterans
By GARY WARTH | The San Diego Union-Tribune | Published: January 6, 2020
SAN DIEGO (Tribune News Service) — About $3.8 million in federal dollars are being allocated to help veterans through San Diego County find housing and services that can lead to long-term recovery from homelessness.
The funds are part of $10.5 million in grants coming to California from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development's Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program, more commonly known as VASH vouchers, a collaborative effort between HUD and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
"These grants will steer funding to more than two dozen California cities in need of additional supportive housing for our homeless veterans." Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said when announcing the allocation in late December.
"I firmly believe we must combine housing with services to make sure the veterans we bring in from the street don't find themselves back out there," she said.
The money includes $2.5 million in VASH funds to the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency and $1.3 million to the San Diego Housing Commission.
"This grant is good news for our unsheltered veteran population," said David Estrella, director of HHSA's Housing and Community Development Services. "The funds will secure a stable place to live for men and women in our community that have sacrificed so much."
The county's portion of the grant will assist 175 veterans with rental assistance, ongoing VA case management and supportive services, including drug and alcohol counseling and financial education to veterans without a stable home, according to a news release from HHSA.
According to the 2019 Point-In-Time homeless count, about 14 percent of the local homeless population has served in the military. Veterans are more likely than civilians to be homeless due to higher rates of traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Overall, the county's VASH program has assisted more than 1,000 veterans in finding a place to live.
Information on how to apply for these vouchers can be found online. The county is also actively seeking landlords interested in housing veterans selected for the vouchers.
Landlords interested in participating in the rental assistance programs should call 2-1-1 San Diego or visit the organization's website at 211sandiego.org. 2-1-1 San Diego will refer landlords to the proper jurisdiction.
Veterans Village of San Diego announced recently the appointments of Peter Seidler, Dan Shea and Tom Mulvaney to its board of directors.
Seidler is the general partner of the San Diego Padres and managing partner of Seidler Equity Partners, a private equity fund for growing companies across the United States and Australia. He helped fund and pushed for the city of San Diego's bridge shelter program.
Shea is a partner at Paradigm Investment Group and a well-known restaurateur with ownership of Donovan's Steak & Chop House restaurants in San Diego and Phoenix. He also has been a strong advocate for the bridge shelter program and other services for homeless people.
Mulvaney was president of Control Communications, senior vice president at Seagate Technology and Conner Peripherals. He also is known for his philanthropy supporting literacy, education and a multitude of social and civic causes.
"I am very pleased to have Peter, Dan and Tom join VVSD's Board," said Kim Mitchell, president and CEO of the nonprofit. "They bring a new perspective from the San Diego community and will be an amazing contribution to this group of leaders."
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