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Renewed funds serve Jacksonville's homeless veterans

Veterans get some assistance at a Veterans "StandDown" in Jacksonville, Fla.

BOB MACK/FLORIDA TIMES-UNION/TNS

By DAN SCANLAN | The Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville | Published: July 5, 2019

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Tribune News Service) — A program for homeless veterans to get help from local agencies just received a $231,750 grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.

Jacksonville's Military Affairs and Veterans Department will use the funds to support its Homeless Veterans' Reintegration Program to help homeless veterans with job training and employment.

"Jacksonville is a proud military town that takes seriously our commitment to the men and women who have served and sacrificed so much on behalf of our nation," Mayor Lenny Curry said. "No veteran should be forced to spend a night on the streets of a nation they have fought to defend."

July marks the 12th grant year for the program being funded in Jacksonville. It uses a case-management approach to link homeless veterans with a variety of support services. In the 2018 grant year about 90 veterans enrolled, with 78 placed into jobs with an average hourly wage of $12.32, city officials said.

During that same fiscal year, 98% of the program's clients received vocational training for a 96 percent employment rate for chronically homeless.

To be eligible for the program, veterans have to be living in a temporary shelter or facing the impending loss of their housing through foreclosure or eviction and have the documents to prove it, according to the city. The program is focused on employment, so it trains veterans to re-enter the job force through services including job placement, training, job development, career counseling and resume preparation.

Other services such as clothing for job interviews as well as work tools are made available, along with referrals to temporary, transitional and permanent housing, medical treatment and transportation assistance, city officials said.

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