New York State Health Foundation

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Expanding Supportive Services for Veterans and Their Families

  • By: NYSHealth
  • Date: May 2016
  • Priority Area: Veterans' Health
  • Type: Grant Outcome Reports
  • Category: Grant Outcome Report
  • Grantee Name: Syracuse University Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF)

Overview

The most effective measures in preventing veteran homelessness are those that coordinate a comprehensive array of services to assist with housing, job placement, and counseling, as well as provide wraparound mental health, physical health, and substance use support. Implemented in 2012, the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) federal grant program supports community-based organizations that prevent veterans and their families from becoming homeless. In 2013, the VA increased SSVF funding to $300 million. To maximize the chances of receiving SSVF funding, community-based organizations serving veterans had to build their capacity. NYSHealth awarded a grant to the Syracuse University Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) to work directly with existing and new SSVF grantee applicants in New York State to increase their capacity to serve veterans and secure SSVF funding. 

Grantee: Syracuse University Institute for Veterans and Military Families

Dates: October 2012 – September 2014

Grant Amount: $511,000

Grantee Website: http://vets.syr.edu/

Grant ID: 12-01491


Outcomes and Lessons Learned:

  • Convened regional grantee meetings to facilitate peer-to-peer networking, exchange best practices, and train grantees in grants management and implementation practices;
  • Provided direct hands-on training and technical assistance to all existing grantees to build their capacity, resulting in all of them renewing their SSVF funding for the following year; and
  • Provided technical assistance to first-time applicants, resulting in 12 new organizations receiving SSVF funding in 2013 (tripling the original goal of four). A total of 23 organizations (new and existing grantees) received funding.


Co-funding and Additional Funds Leveraged: Through this 2013 grant, IVMF helped secure more than three times the amount of SSVF funding awarded to New York State than the previous year—from $8 million in 2012 to $24 million in 2013. After the VA announced in 2014 that it would double its SSVF grant funding from $300 million to $600 million, NYSHealth saw this as an opportunity to leverage its investment and awarded IVMF a follow-up grant. IVMF worked with 21 local organizations to secure more than $27 million in SSVF funding for 2014. New York State received the second-largest allocation of 2014 SSVF grants in the United States, with some funding going to communities in New York City and on Long Island—where more than 80% of all homeless veterans in the State live. As of 2015, New York State has received nearly $75 million in SSVF funding to support veteran families.