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HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 97-83
Further Information:For Release
In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-1420Sunday,
Or contact your local HUD officeMay 25, 1997


Washington, D.C. - As the nation observes Memorial Day, Housing Secretary Andrew Cuomo announced today the availability of almost $645 million for programs that can assist homeless veterans and serve the housing needs of veterans living with HIV/AIDS. The Department, which funds homeless programs that assisted as many as 290,000 homeless persons in 1995, estimates that one-third of all homeless men are veterans.

"From its beginning, Memorial Day has been a time of remembrance and healing -- a recognition of the sacrifices of American soldiers who served our country," Cuomo said. "On an occasion like this, it is also important to remember the needs of our veterans who are homeless, and those who are living with HIV/AIDS."

Under HUD's "Continuum of Care" program, $625 million is being made available for local groups seeking to assist homeless persons -- including veterans -- by providing housing, job training and social services. Cuomo said that all winning funding applications must include intensive outreach and attention to the needs of homeless veterans.

In addition to the homeless assistance, HUD has available $19.6 million under the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) grant program. Without this assistance, many low-income persons -- including veterans -- with HIV/AIDS would become homeless at great peril to their health and safety.

The goal of the Continuum of Care is to help the homeless - including those suffering from mental illness - move from the streets and temporary shelter to permanent housing and the highest level of self-sufficiency possible.

Cuomo said that these services are especially important for homeless veterans of World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the Gulf War, many of whom suffer from after effects of their service and struggle with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, substance abuse and other mental health problems.

In recent years, HUD has intensified its efforts to meet the special needs of homeless veterans and veterans with HIV/AIDS, Cuomo said. The agency has reached out to veterans groups and the Department of Veterans Affairs by:

  • Encouraging communities applying for Continuum of Care funds to assure that the needs of homeless veterans are factored in as local program priorities are set. Recently, a number of veterans groups around the country participated in a HUD- sponsored satellite training session aimed at educating groups about programs to assist homeless persons and the Continuum of Care planning process.

  • Participating in national meetings of veterans service organizations and providing first-hand information on linking with HUD's programs to provide better service to poor and homeless veterans. Both Cuomo and Acting Assistant Secretary Jacquie Lawing, the official who leads HUD's efforts on behalf of the homeless and persons with HIV/AIDS, have addressed these groups.

  • Joining with the Department of Labor to support programs to assist homeless veterans with employment training.

  • Working with the Department of Veterans Affairs, convening an unprecedented meeting of Veterans Secretary Jesse Brown, Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala and then-Secretary Henry Cisneros with a group of HIV/AIDS housing providers and residents to discuss better coordinated federal efforts to respond to the needs of homeless persons living with HIV/AIDS, including veterans. Cuomo, as the Assistant Secretary running HUD's homeless programs, also met with this group.

  • Creating the HUD Veterans Resource Center to provide groups serving veterans with more information on HUD's programs and respond to inquiries about the agency's efforts.

Applications for funding of local efforts to assist homeless veterans under HUD's Continuum of Care program must be filed at HUD headquarters before midnight on Thursday, July 31, 1997. Groups seeking more information on the application process should call HUD's Community Connections toll-free at 1-800- 998-9999 or 1-800-483-2209 (TTY). Those seeking more information on applying for funds to serve the housing needs of persons with HIV/AIDS may also call the Community Connections numbers or HUD's Office of HIV/AIDS Housing at 202/708-1934 (TTY 1-800-877-8339). The application deadline for competitive funding under HOPWA is Tuesday, July 15, 1997. The HUD Veterans Resource Center may also be reached toll-free through Community Connections.

Content Archived: January 20, 2009

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