Goodwill receives over $4 million to support services to veterans who are homeless

June 16, 2014

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A Windfall Week: Goodwill receives NEW Priority One Grant AND Priority 2 Grant renewal for Supportive Services for Veteran Families

In Just 5 short days, Goodwill Industries of the Inland Northwest has received two exciting reasons to celebrate in its Supportive Services for Veteran Families program.

  • On June 11, Goodwill was awarded Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) Priority 1 Funding from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. The total amount of the award is $2,962,562 over a 3-year period, starting October 1, 2014. Eleven new SSVF staff will be added to the downtown Spokane Goodwill administration to carry out the expanded work of the Priority 1 grant, targeting 165 high priority veterans.

  • This morning (June 16), Goodwill received notice that Priority 2 SSVF funds have been renewed for an additional year in the amount of $1,342,613, effective October 1, 2014. This is a 10% increase over last year’s funding. Priority 2 funds are targeted to reach 325 veterans. Goodwill did not anticipate hearing about their Priority 2 renewal until late summer.

Goodwill launched its SSVF program in October 2013, in partnership with Volunteers of America and Transitions. The program has served more than 180 at-risk veterans since its launch. The goal of the SSVF Program is to provide housing stability to Veterans and Veteran Families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

“The new Priority I Funds, focused in Spokane, will allow us to expand Priority II services into more rural settings,” explained Clark Brekke, President and CEO of Goodwill Industries of the Inland Northwest, in a statement to Goodwill’s Board of Directors this week.  Going forward, Goodwill will be administering more than $2 million a year in grant funding for Spokane County and North Idaho Veterans who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

SSVF uses a “housing first” approach to assisting Veterans. The focus is on housing stability, not treatment, with an emphasis on crisis intervention and client self-determination.

In January, the Veterans Administration (VA) announced Priority 1 funding availability for 76 communities with the highest need for SSVF services, based on current unmet service needs, levels of veteran homelessness, levels of veteran poverty, and the overall size of the veteran population. Under Priority 1, the VA committed to provide up to $300 million over a 3-year period to eligible entities in those 76 high priority communities. The City of Spokane was identified as one of the 76 Priority 1 communities.

All SSVF programs are required to provide the following supportive services: Outreach services, Case management services; assist participants to obtain VA benefits; and assist participants to obtain and coordinate the provision of other public benefits provided by Federal, State, or local agencies, or any eligible entity in the area served by the grantee (provided directly or through referral to partner agencies

“This [Priority 1] funding will enable us to serve an additional 165 veterans in Spokane County over the next three years,” according to Fawn Schott, General Manager of Grant Funded Programs for Goodwill Industries of the Inland Northwest. 

Knowing the new grant means coordination of services to over 400 veteran families in the coming year, “will be spending the next few months planning and organizing a smooth launch and transition of the two grants so services are seamless and high quality,” said Schott.