(Big Sandy, Mont.) – U.S. Senator Jon Tester, Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, today announced more than $11 million in funding to support homeless and at-risk veterans and their families across Montana.
“The men and women who risk their lives to defend our country deserve to be treated with dignity when they come home, and that starts with ensuring each and every one of them has a safe roof over their head,” said Tester. “We’ve got to keep connecting folks with the tools they need to succeed here at home, and that’s why I’m proud to have helped secure these critical resources to help tackle veterans homelessness in Montana.”
Tester secured funding for the following service organizations focused on helping prevent and end veterans homelessness across Montana:
- $10,917,945 for the Volunteers of America Northern Rockies;
- $1,837,500 for Veterans Inc.
These awards are a portion of the more than $799 million in grants for the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program, which is awarded to help rapidly rehouse veterans and their families, prevent homelessness for veterans experiencing housing insecurity, incentivize landlords to rent to veterans struggling with housing, and more.
The Senator also secured funding to provide veterans access to transitional housing and case management services to access additional support through the Grand Per Diem (GDP) program.
This grant funding will be provided to Montana veterans across the following organizations that serve veterans from all across the state:
- Fort Peck Housing Authority, Fort Peck;
- North West Montana Veterans Stand Down, Kalispell;
- The Poverello Center, Missoula;
- Volunteers of America Northern Rockies, Billings.
As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Tester helped secure federal funding to support VA programs through the annual appropriations process, including those aimed at tackling veterans homelessness. Tester also secured his comprehensive Building Solutions for Veterans Experiencing Homelessness Act of 2021 into the federal funding bill last year to permanently cut red tape on capital grants provided by VA for organizations assisting veterans experiencing homelessness and establish pilot programs for vulnerable homeless veterans who have chronic health needs.
Continuing his fight to end veterans homelessness, Tester introduced the bipartisan Critical Health Access Resource and Grant Extensions (CHARGE) Act of 2023 to protect measures currently being implemented by VA to curb veterans homelessness, including the GDP grant program.
“Volunteers of America Northern Rockies continues to be grateful for Senator Tester's commitment to our nation's veterans, his leadership as Chairman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, and his efforts to secure critical funding to support veterans,” said Jeff Holsinger, Chief Executive Officer of Volunteers of America Northern Rockies. “The Senator’s hard work has and will continue to have a powerful impact on the ability to rapidly rehouse and prevent homelessness among veterans in Montana.”
“We are excited about the announcement of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ grant awards to community organizations, like the Poverello Center in Missoula, Montana that provide veterans with transitional housing and case management, which we know are crucial to effectively ending veterans homelessness in the country,” said Jill Bonny, Executive Director of the Poverello Center. “We extend our gratitude to Senator Tester for his unwavering commitment to securing this funding and his dedicated efforts in championing these critical issues. He has been a fierce advocate, not only for Montana's veterans but also across the country for years. He is truly a champion for all veterans.”