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VA Southeast Network (VISN7)


Veteran benefits from BVAHCS's SSVF program grants

Veteran benefits from SSVF

(Photo Courtesy of United Way) Army Veteran, Emmanuel, left, interviews with Jeff Eliasoph, WVTM 13 News reporter, right.

By Emily Smallwood, Public Affairs Specialist at BVAHCS
Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Recently, United Way’s Priority Veteran Program received $2,250,366 of grants through the Birmingham VA Health Care System’s Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program (SSVF). United Way’s Priority Veteran Program supports Alabama Veterans and their families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

“This program allows us to pay some of those housing startup costs such as security deposits or first month’s rent, to get a Veteran in a place and stable,” said Lula Skowronkek, United Way’s Priority Veteran Program director.

Veterans often return home with no credit or no money to pay a security deposit for a place to live. This program has helped thousands of Veterans get into homes, including Army Veteran, Emmanuel.

“I was on the verge of becoming homeless when Priority Veteran stepped in and paid for my hotel for two months,” said Emmanuel. “They helped me with my rental history since I didn’t have a rental history staying in the barracks in the military. They opened the door for me and took care of almost everything, first month’s rent, security deposit, utilities, household goods, anything that I really needed.”

Emmanuel recently purchased his first home and is now stable with his family.

“SSVF is a key tool to promote housing stability among our most economically vulnerable Veterans and their families,” said Dr. Oladipo Kukoyi, BVAHCS Interim Medical Center Director. “This program empowers our community-based partners to provide the mix of services needed to prevent Veterans from becoming homeless and rapidly re-house those who become homeless.”

For more information, call Willie Fields, VA Homeless Coordinator at (205) 246-7507.


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