Hopesource Boosts Aid To Veterans

For veterans who are struggling with housing during the COVID-19 crisis, there’s extra help available from HopeSource.

Increased funding from Veterans Affairs will give HopeSource the ability to serve veterans who are homeless or in danger of becoming homeless. Help with finding temporary or permanent housing and eviction prevention will be available to U.S. military veterans in Kittitas, Grant, Adams, Okanogan, Chelan and Douglas counties.

HopeSource already operates the Supportive Services for Veterans Families (SSVF) program, which helps secure housing and benefits for veterans. These extra funds, totaling $880,000, are to be spent in the next several months to help veterans suffering from the consequences of the pandemic.

A key difference with this new funding is that it allows HopeSource case managers to better assist those who are in danger of becoming homeless, not just the literally homeless.

“For the first time many veterans who are struggling but not quite homeless will be able to ensure a stable life for their families, decreasing the stress on themselves and their family members,” said Susan Grindle, HopeSource CEO. “This will allow them to focus on education and employment that will lead to permanent stability.”

Claudia Betancourt is an SSVF case manager for Chelan and Douglas counties and a veteran herself. She says these funds are critical for the health and well-being of veterans.

“With everything going on in our country right now with COVID-19, it is especially hitting hard in the veteran community because we do tend to isolate ourselves and have trouble leaning on our community supports more than the average person,” Betancourt said. Her mission is to make sure these funds go to help those veterans in need.

HopeSource has been assisting veterans in six Central Washington counties for more than six years through the SSVF program. It’s a vital service, Grindle said, because of the focus on veterans.

“We are able to demonstrate to those who chose to serve and protect this country that the country honors them and has their back, supporting them in their role as civilians and contributing members of their community,” Grindle said.

Veterans with honorable or other than honorable discharge status are eligible. To apply, call HopeSource at (509) 925-1448 or go to www.ssvf.us.

HopeSource is Community Action Agency providing a wide range of human services in Central Washington. Contact: Samantha Puntenney spuntenney@hopesource.us (509) 925-1448

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