Springfield Receives $40,000+ in Efforts to End Veteran Homelessness

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Homeless veterans now have a new chance to take the burden of paying rent off their shoulders. 

The Springfield Housing Authority received over $40,000 through the Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program (VASH) in an effort to end veteran homelessness.

The money is used to help veterans with rent for one year.

The housing authority's voucher actually allows homeless veterans to pick a place to live.

Springfield Housing Authority executive director Katrena Wolfram explained how it works.

"They can find their own home and then rent from a landlord, and then we send the landlord a portion of the rent based on their income," said Wolfram.

"They're provided with rental assistance and the case management they need to reach their goals of housing maintenance," said Amy Cash, the Coordinator of Housing and Urban Development, and VA Supportive Housing.

Homeless vets then can choose their landlord and their house, but the home must pass housing quality standards.

Wolfram said it varies from case to case, but on average a veteran receives about $420 per month for rent.

"It's based upon the hud proration and the appropriations bill," said Wolfram, "and the omnibus bill, a lot goes into our funding cycles."

Cash said the group targets chronically homeless veterans.

"Often times they have no income, and we're working with them for possibly disability benefits or employment, or VA benefits," said Cash, "and so there's a calculation that the housing authority does that shows how many rental subsidies they'll get and how much the veteran would pay."

Jason Mohr, the regional administrator at U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) said the goal of this program is to help get veterans back on their feet.

He said, "It's essential to helping someone get off the street is housing, and then secondly we look at how they got in that situation."

He also said after this year-long program, HUD tries to provide additional services to help homeless vets including job prospects and substance abuse treatment.

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