Founder and Executive Director Vincent Scalise announced the Utica Center for Development was awarded a grant of $430,000 from the United States Department of Veteran Affairs to serve homeless and at-risk veterans and their families in Oneida, Herkimer, Madison, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties.
Under the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program, the VA awards grants to private nonprofit organizations that can provide supportive services to very low-income veteran families living in or transitioning to permanent housing. Nearly $300 million in grants were awarded to 319 community agencies in the U.S. to help approximately 120,000 homeless and at-risk veterans and their families.
The new grant will enable the Utica Center for Development and its Central New York Veteran’s Outreach Center to increase services to the growing number of at-risk and homeless veterans and their families in central and northern New York. CNYVOC staff and volunteers operate a community-based outreach and supportive services center that currently serves over 250 veterans and/or their family members each month.
“I am very proud to be able to accept this grant on behalf of all the veterans and their families in our service area. It is important that veteran services for our area be administered by local agencies that understand the needs of our veterans and are aware of resources to help them,” Scalise said in a news release.
Scalise recognized the contributions of the Municipal Housing Authority of the city of Utica to help the CNYVOC secure the funding.
“If it were not for the dedication and commitment of Housing Authority staff, particularly the Director of Grants John Furman, we may not have been awarded this grant. The Housing Authority and the Central New York Veterans Outreach Center enjoy a collaborative relationship and are dedicated to helping veterans and their families access affordable housing opportunities,” said Scalise.
As part of a three year U.S. Corporation for National and Community Service grant, the UMHA has placed two AmeriCorps members at the CNYVOC to provide outreach and referral services to homeless veterans. The UMHA and CNYVOC work closely together to coordinate services to help veterans obtain quality, affordable housing through cross referral programs and outreach.
Under the SSVF program, grantees such as the CNYVOC provide services to very low-income veteran families living in — or transitioning to — permanent housing. The SSVF program supports VA’s efforts to prevent at-risk veterans from becoming homeless and rapidly re-house those who have recently fallen into homelessness. CNYVOC will provide a range of services that promote housing stability and will play a key role in connecting veterans and their family members to VA services such as mental health care and other benefits. Grantees can offer temporary financial assistance on behalf of veterans for rent payments, utility payments, security deposits and moving costs.
Page 2 of 2 - For more information regarding services available through the Central New York Veterans Outreach Center, call 765-0975.