Dept. of Veterans Affairs awards $900k in homeless prevention grants

Updated: Friday, August 22 2014, 09:22 PM MDT
Dept. of Veterans Affairs awards $900k in homeless prevention grants story image

By Crystal Price
EL PASO, Texas -- The Department of Veterans Affairs recently announced they'll be awarding more than $900,000 in grant money that will go toward preventing homelessness among veterans in the Borderland.


Through the Supportive Services for Veteran Families grant, the VA aims to assist more than 200 veteran families who are either homeless or at risk of losing their homes.


The funds will help veterans with food stamps, rent and utility payments, and transportation.


The VA money will also go to help pay staff at veteran housing centers to better assist veterans with applying for housing and disability.


Veteran housing programs in El Paso, Dona Ana County, and the city of Las Cruces will benefit from this grant.


The Mesilla Valley Community of Hope received $116,000 in grant money.


This is the second year the center has received this grant. Last year as a result of the grant, the center successfully moved 43 veterans out of homelessness.


"We did see a huge influx but because of having this grant, we've been able to help so many, that the numbers have become fewer," said Nicole Martinez, director of the Mesilla Valley Community of Hope. "Our goal is to
end homelessness so for us that's really good news."


The director said the Community of Hope works with the Mesilla Valley Public Housing Authority to house homeless veterans in a complex that rents apartments to veterans only.


She said the grant money helps pay for staff that will assist veterans living at the complex with money management and making their rent on time.


"It's a big deal," Martinez said. "It would be much more difficult for us to serve the amount of veterans if we didn't have this grant. I wondered back, how were we doing it before."


Fidel Patterson, a veteran from Las Cruces, has been living in the center's "tent city" for the last two months.


The 55-year-old Vietnam veteran said he has worked odd jobs the last several years, but it's been difficult to stay on his feet.


"Due to finances I've been homeless on and off ever since," Patterson said. "I suffer from a number of health problems that this kind of environment is really not conducive."


Patterson said he hopes this new grant will help get him out of the tent and into a more stable home.


"It's just a matter of time, I won't give up," Patterson said.


Martinez said the Community of Hope's goal is to get a total of 50 veterans out of homelessness by Sept. 30.

Dept. of Veterans Affairs awards $900k in homeless prevention grants
comments powered by Disqus

El Paso Times Headlines

Climate scientists, Texas' top water official disagree on dealing with drought, heat waves
AUSTIN >> Texas' top water official and one of the state's leading climate scientists differ on how best to plan for future droughts and heat waves.
Lyndon B. Johnson linked Latinos, civil rights in 'Selma' speech
Fifty-years ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson asked a joint session of Congress to respond to the brutal beatings of protesters in Selma, Alabama, by passing a federal Voting Rights Act that would "open the city of hope to all people of all races."
U.S. clears officer in Ferguson case, criticizes police force
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Justice Department says it won't prosecute former Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of an unarmed black 18-year-old that led to weeks of protests.
Defense admits Tsarnaev carried out Boston Marathon bombing
BOSTON (AP) - Dzhokhar Tsarnaev went on trial for his life Wednesday in the Boston Marathon bombing with his own lawyer bluntly telling the jury he committed the crime. But she argued that he had fallen under the influence of his older brother.
Mexico authorities arrest Zetas leader Omar Trevino Morales
MEXICO CITY (AP) - Mexican police and soldiers on Wednesday captured Omar Trevino Morales, widely considered to be the most important leader of the Zetas drug cartel that once carved a path of brutal bloodshed along the country's northern border with the U.S., a federal official said.
Three candidates join race for EPISD board
An Army Reserve chaplain, a zoning board member and an Ysleta school district administrator are three of the 10 candidates seeking seats on the El Paso Independent School District Board of Trustees.
Gallery: High school boys basketball - Andress Eagles vs. Bel Air Highlanders
Andress High School defeated Bel Air in the Class 5A Region 1-5A quarterfinal game on Tuesday night. Check out the gallery by El Paso Times photographer Mark Lambie.
El Paso records third flu-related death of the season
A third person has died in El Paso after catching the flu virus this season, officials said.
Man injured in early morning rollover in Northeast El Paso
A man suffered serious injuries early Wednesday morning after rolling his vehicle over in Northeast El Paso.
High school boys basketball: Only loss ends Bel Air's year
After two hours, a perfect season came to an end for the Big Red. Bel Air's enduring boys basketball team walked away defeated with its first loss of the season, 32-1, at the Don Haskins Center in a Class 5A Region 1-5A quarterfinal game.
El Paso City Council candidate Joshua E. Dagda pleaded guilty to DWI in 2012
An El Paso City Council candidate who is running against incumbent city Rep. Cortney Niland was convicted of driving while intoxicated in 2012, according to court records.
Netanyahu assails Iran-nuclear talks in Congress address
WASHINGTON (AP) - In a speech that stirred political controversy in two countries, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Congress on Tuesday that negotiations underway between Iran and the United States would "all but guarantee" that Tehran would get nuclear weapons, a step he said the world must avoid at all costs.

Related ›› O'Rourke among lawmakers who didn't attend Netanyahu address

O'Rourke among lawmakers who didn't attend Netanyahu address
U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rouke, D-El Paso, and Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., were among the 58 lawmakers who did not attend Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Tuesday address to Congress.

Related ›› Netanyahu assails Iran-nuclear talks in Congress address

El Paso Children's Hospital wants to return to mediation with UMC
The board of directors of El Paso Children's Hospital said Tuesday it wants to return to mediation in a financial dispute with University Medical Center of El Paso as a March 25 deadline looms.
UTEP men's basketball: Miners shooting for top-4 finish
One week remains in the Conference USA championship chase and one thing is clear — UTEP needs wins.
advertisement
KFOX14 El Paso - Links Mentioned Get the latest web resources mentioned on KFOX14 News!
advertisement