WILKES-BARRE, PA – Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki announced the award of $3,003,716 in homeless prevention grants to assist Veterans in the Pennsylvania counties of: Lehigh, Northampton, Berks, Schuylkill, Carbon, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike, Columbia, Lycoming, Montour, and Bucks.

The grants will serve approximately 650 homeless and at-risk Veteran families as part of the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program.

Recipients are:

Ÿ Lehigh Valley Center for Independent Living, Inc., $232,000.

Lehigh Valley Center for Independent Living, Inc. will serve approximately 60 participant households in Lehigh, Northampton, Carbon, Monroe, Berks, and Pike Counties.

Ÿ Commission on Economic Opportunity, $367,000.

Commission on Economic Opportunity will serve approximately 120 participants households in Luzerne County

Ÿ Commission on Economic Opportunity, $260,486.

Commission on Economic Opportunity will serve approximately 70 participant households in Columbia, Lycoming and Montour Counties.

Ÿ Community Hope, Inc., $2,000,000.

Community Hope, Inc. will serve approximately 300 participant households in Allentown/Northeast, PA, and Bristol/Bensalem/Bucks County.

Ÿ Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Allentown, $174,230.

Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Allentown will serve approximately 100 participant households in Lehigh, Northampton, Berks, Schuylkill, and Carbon Counties.

Ÿ Total Impact: $3,003,716, 650 participant households.

These awards will serve Veterans families associated with the Commission on Economic Opportunity, Lehigh Valley Center for Independent Living, Inc., Community Hope, Inc., or Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Allentown, some of the 319 community agencies in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

Under the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program, VA is awarding grants to private non-profit organizations and consumer cooperatives that provide services to very low-income Veteran families living in or transitioning to permanent housing.

Those community organizations provide a range of services that promote housing stability among eligible very low income Veteran families.

Thanks to the SSVF grants, those community organizations will provide a range of services that promote housing stability and play a key role in connecting Veterans and their family members to VA services such as mental health care and other benefits.

Community-based groups can offer temporary financial assistance on behalf of Veterans for rent payments, utility payments, security deposits and moving costs. This is the program's third year. Last year, VA provided about $100 million to assist approximately 50,000 Veterans and family members.