The Battle Back Home: Ensuring the Health and Wellbeing of Our Veterans and Their Families
July 15, 2014
In 2012, the New York State Health Foundation (NYSHealth) awarded the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) a grant to develop a technical assistance program to help New York State community-based organizations leverage federal resources from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) funding opportunity.
Through the grant, IVMF leveraged $26 million in federal funding to create community-based services that helped prevent homelessness for more than 7,000 veterans and their families. To build on and expand upon these efforts, NYSHealth awarded IVMF a grant to further support IVMF’s work in leveraging SSVF funds to prevent homelessness among New York State’s veterans.
Under this grant, IVMF sought to leverage an additional $15 million in SSVF funding in 2014–2015 for communities in New York City and on Long Island—where more than 80% of all homeless veterans in New York State live. Securing these additional funds in the next round of SSVF funding—for a total of $41 million— helped community organizations across the State serve at least 10,000 veterans. IVMF staff members provided the necessary technical assistance to develop the services, helped write the federal grant, and mentored organizations as they established and grew their programs once funding was secured. IVMF also identified opportunities where the VA can and should invest to expand the capacity of community-based health services to meet the health needs of veterans. It produced and published a series of policy briefs on solutions that address the social and economic factors affecting the health and mental health of veterans and convened a series of meetings with stakeholders to act on recommendations from the briefs. IVMF developed regional networks of health and social service organizations.