Department of Veterans Affairs award 80 new housing vouchers for homeless military veterans

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BILOXI, Mississippi — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has awarded 80 new housing vouchers for homeless military veterans on the northern Gulf Coast.

The Sun Herald reports (http://bit.ly/1DRWJXd ) the VA and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is spending more than $417,000 on the vouchers, which were distributed to public housing authorities in Gulfport, Mobile, Alabama, and Pensacola and Fort Walton Beach, Florida.

The Gulfport housing authority received 20, adding to the 152 vouchers already available for the Gulfport-Biloxi area.

Eric Oleson, the VA's homeless-program manager for the Gulf Coast, said all of the 152 vouchers either have already been or are being issued to veterans.

Oleson said he estimates there are about 75 to 80 homeless veterans in Harrison County, some of whom have already been housed.

Combined with other VA programs such as Supportive Services for Veterans and Families, the 20 new vouchers are expected to find homes for every homeless vet in the area.

"With the vouchers and the other programs, the goal is by the end of the year, we're going to be as close to absolute zero as possible," Oleson said. "We're trying to end homelessness by the end of December."

To be eligible for a voucher, veterans must be eligible for VA health care, have in come less than $1,500 month and be homeless or have unstable housing.


Information from: The Sun Herald, http://www.sunherald.com

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