Tester Secures More Than $5.8 Million to Assist Homeless Montana Veterans

Chairman was only member of Montana’s Congressional delegation to vote in favor of critical ARPA funding awarded to Volunteers of America Northern Rockies in Billings

(U.S. Senate) – U.S. Senator Jon Tester, Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, today announced more than $5.8 million in federal funding to help end veterans homelessness in Montana. Tester secured these funds as part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

The $5,825,234 grant comes from the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program administered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for the Volunteers of America Northern Rockies, a service organization based out of Billings. Since 2012, the Volunteers of America Northern Rockies has worked with hundreds of veterans and their families to help provide housing services for homeless and at-risk veterans.

“The Volunteers of America Northern Rockies consistently do their part in helping Montana’s veterans and their families transition to civilian life,” said Chairman Tester. “With folks seeking assistance now more than ever, these urgently-needed funds will help make sure veterans have the resources they need to gain meaningful employment, keep a safe roof over their heads, and recover from the pandemic.” 

“The Volunteers of America Northern Rockies is committed to ending homelessness among Veterans in Montana and Wyoming. Thanks to funding from the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Supportive Services for Veteran Families grant we served more than 900 veterans last year,” said the Volunteers of America Northern Rockies. “The pandemic is placing additional strain on veterans struggling with housing security. The Shallow Subsidy grant will provide critical funds to meet the needs of veterans today. All of us at the Volunteers of America Northern Rockies are grateful for the leadership and continued support provided by Senator Jon Tester in securing the funds needed to combat veteran homelessness.”

As Chairman, Tester fought tirelessly to secure billions in the ARPA to deliver targeted relief to veterans in Montana and across the country during the COVID-19 crisis, and was the only member of the Montana delegation to vote for this legislation. This package included $14.5 billion for VA to provide health care services and related support to eligible veterans, including COVID-19 vaccine distribution, expanded mental health care, enhanced telehealth capabilities, and extended support for veterans who are homeless or in danger of becoming homeless.