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Fri, Feb. 21

Federal grant award to U.S. VETS means more transitional housing for homeless veterans

As of Oct. 1, U.S. VETS Prescott will receive two federal Veteran Affairs grants totaling $580,000 that will enable the agency to expand its current 56-bed transitional living facilities to 20 more beds as well as add 15 units of transition-in-place housing opportunities.

U.S. VETS Executive Director Carole Benedict said the just-approved government funding through the Trump administration will enable her agency to reconfigure their current transitional living complex to accommodate veterans with special needs. Ten of the new beds will be for veterans transitioning from hospitals or rehabilitation programs and another ten will be for veterans who need intensive case management and other such services.

The agency will also be adding to its now 21- units of scattered site apartments with the 15 transition-in-place units for those who require just limited case management to remain housed. Both of their transitional programs are for up to two years; the scattered site apartments are eligible to become a veteran’s permanent home after the two years. As those apartments are turned over to independent living, Benedict explained the agency would arrange for another transition-in-place apartment.

She said her staff is currently working with area landlords to find these additional units.

The additional beds come as U.S. VETS is working on a new headquarters and housing complex on Whipple Street expected to be ready by next summer. Benedict explained these additional beds will be absorbed into the new complex initially planned for 88 units but is expected to have 97 units; 83 percent will be for U.S. VETS clients and the remainder for the non-veteran homeless population.

U.S. VETS plans to be in a lease-purchase arrangement for the new facility.

As for its current transitional housing location, Benedict would like to find the funding to be able to open an assisted living care facility for aging homeless veterans. She said that proposal is still in the works.

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