Rep. Jim Costa announced Kern County will receive will receive $125,832 to offer rental assistance and case management to 25 homeless veterans. The HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program is a jointly administered program by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
"When one out of every six in homeless shelters nationwide is a veteran, we have failed to fulfill the sacred promise we as a nation make to our service members," said Costa. "Fortunately, programs like HUD-VASH make strides toward guaranteeing that every veteran in our Valley and nationwide has a place to call home by providing comprehensive services to at-risk veterans. These funds will allow local VA officials and housing authorities to work together to offer support to our most vulnerable veterans."
Through the HUD-VASH program, homeless veterans receiving services through the VA can be referred to local housing authorities to obtain Housing Choice Vouchers for rental assistance. By combining case management from the VA and housing assistance, the program aims to give long-time homeless veterans the support needed to obtain and maintain permanent housing.
Locally, the Kern County Housing Authority partners with the VA Community-Based Outpatient Clinic to provide support to eligible veterans with the help of HUD-VASH funds.
"Our service members were called to defend our homes and families, and this program allows us to help our most vulnerable veterans and their families find a place to call home," said Max Bacerra, Chairman of Kern County Housing Authority Board. "Working with the VA we are able to identify veterans in our community who need additional support and meet their needs. The funds provided through the HUD-VASH program will allow us to build on our efforts and move towards the goal of ending homelessness amongst those who once wore the uniform."