Tester Secures More Than $5 Million to Assist Montana Homeless Veterans

Senator hails funding for Volunteers of America Northern Rockies

(U.S. Senate) – U.S. Senator Jon Tester announced more than $5 million in federal funding to help end veteran homelessness in Montana.

The $5,440,394 grant will go to the Volunteers of America Northern Rockies (VOA), a service organization based out of Billings. Since 2012, VOA has worked with more than 200 veterans and their families to help provide housing services for homeless and at-risk veterans.

“When they return home from service, our obligation to Montana’s men and women in uniform has just begun,” said Tester, Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee. “The Volunteers of America Northern Rockies are doing great work with Montana’s veterans and their families, making sure they receive the help they need. These federal funds are an investment in our veterans, making sure they have the resources they need to get back on their feet and put a roof over their heads.”

The award is a portion of the $426 million Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) grant administered by the VA. In fiscal year 2018, SSVF served 125,878 participants, including 82,664 veterans and 25,942 children. As a result of these and other efforts, the number of homeless veterans has been cut in half since the launch of the Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness in 2010. 

As Ranking Member of the Senate Veteran’s Affairs Committee, Tester has been leading the effort to curb veteran homelessness. This Congress, he introduced the Veteran Housing Opportunities and Unemployment Support Extension (HOUSE) Act, a bipartisan bill allowing veterans with Other-Than-Honorable discharges to participate in the Department of Housing and Urban Development – VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program. Specifically, it expands access to vital HUD-VASH case management services, connecting chronically homeless veterans with the resources they need to find employment and housing.