LEBANON, PA. – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today it will award four grants to community organizations totaling more than $1.5 million under the Grant Per Diem (GPD) program. The local awardees include: Tabor Community Services, Inc., the YMCA of Reading and Berks County and the YWCA of Greater Harrisburg (which received 2 grants).
The GPD Program provides funding to community organizations that provide transitional housing and supportive services for homeless Veterans, with the goal of helping homeless Veterans achieve residential stability, increase their skill levels and income and obtain greater self-determination.
“The GPD program is one component of VA’s multifaceted continuum of services and resources to help Veterans exit homelessness,” said Robert W. Callahan, Jr., Medical Center Director, “No Veteran should ever have to worry whether they will have stable housing, and these grants put us one step closer to ensuring all Veterans are living in a safe and supportive environment.”
The award period begins Oct. 1 to support three different types of grants to address the unique needs of Veterans who are homeless:
Per Diem only grants are used to provide transitional housing beds and operate service centers for Veterans experiencing homelessness. These grants provide funding in the form of per diem payments to reimburse grantees for the cost of care provided to Veterans during the award period.
Special Need grants provide funding to organizations that incur additional operational costs to help Veterans with special needs who are experiencing homelessness, including women, individuals with chronic mental illnesses and Veterans who care for minor dependents.
Transition in Place grants provide funding to community agencies that place Veterans experiencing homelessness in transitional housing while providing them with supportive services. These services are designed to help Veterans become more stable and independent, with the ultimate goal of Veterans assuming full responsibility for the lease or other housing agreement. When that goal has been achieved, the transitional residence becomes the Veteran’s permanent residence and supportive services come to an end.
The GPD program has provided Veterans who are homeless with community-based transitional housing and supportive services since 1994. The number of Veterans experiencing homelessness in the U.S. has declined by 50% since 2010 — resulting from the GPD program and other VA efforts.
Information about the GPD program and a list of grantees is available at https://www.va.gov/homeless/gpd.asp.
Lebanon VA Medical Center is one of 170 medical centers in the nation with the sole purpose of providing world-class medical care to America’s Veterans. Lebanon VAMC serves a nine-county area in South Central Pennsylvania covering Adams, Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry, Schuylkill and York counties. Lebanon VAMC also currently oversees community clinics located in Lancaster, Mechanicsburg, Pottsville, Wyomissing, York and Fort Indiantown Gap. If you are a Veteran, you may be eligible to receive care and benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. To learn more, call (717) 272-6621, ext. 6000.