For the first time, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) is providing aid specific to the needs of struggling Native American veterans.
The VA, paired with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), has now offered grants to aid Native American veterans who are experiencing or are at risk of experiencing homelessness, HUD said in a press release. Together, they have formed the Tribal HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (Tribal HUD-VASH) Program.
According to the press release, 30 eligible Tribes were invited to seek HUD-VASH housing vouchers.
A grant of $5.9 million will be allocated to 26 Tribes throughout the states of Alaska, Arizona, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington, and Wisconsin, HUD said. The resources are expected to house an estimated number of 500 homeless Native American veterans.
This program is the first to aid Native Americans by providing resources directly to the Tribes themselves, HUD said. With grants being directly provided to Tribes, the Tribes are responsible for managing the housing vouchers and allocating them to appropriate members.
Emphasizing the importance of creating a brighter future, HUD secretary Julián Castro said in a statement that he believes that “by offering permanent housing solutions, combined with needed services and case management, we can work with Tribes to end veteran homelessness.”