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GLCAP program helps veterans facing homelessness

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Photo by Jennifer Ditscheit from Pixabay

Tiffin, Ohio — Just this week, Great Lakes Community Action Partnership’s (GLCAP) Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program assisted a veteran who needed help with housing expenses after her husband passed away. SSVF will cover current housing expenses while she is on a waiting list to move to more affordable income-based housing.

It’s one of many cases seen by GLCAP’s SSVF staff whose job is to ensure that veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness have access to safe, affordable housing. In 2021, GLCAP assisted 170 veteran families through SSVF, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA). GLCAP partners with FrontLine Services in Cleveland to provide SSVF in a ten-county northwest Ohio region.

In 2021, the VA extended access to its Shallow Subsidy funding initiative to GLCAP’s SSVF program. The funding expands housing support options for veterans facing homelessness, such as covering rental assistance for veterans who are seeking affordable housing. Clarissa McDermitt, GLCAP Veteran Programs Housing Specialist, said the funding has been invaluable in supporting veterans with housing needs, especially when affordable housing is so scarce.

“The waiting list for affordable housing is long,” McDermitt said. “Fortunately, we’ve been able to use our Shallow Subsidy funds to connect veterans to housing vouchers, or help veterans maintain their current housing if they are in a circumstance that makes their housing difficult to afford.”

In such cases, SSVF will help cover rental costs until affordable housing becomes available. McDermitt said that while the program assists veterans of all ages, seniors are often in need of support since many live on fixed incomes.

SSVF can help veteran families with back rental payments, first-month rent, security deposits, and living expenses. While in the program, veterans also meet regularly with GLCAP advocates who help with budgeting, employment, and other needs. SSFV staff can also help connect veterans to healthcare navigation services, legal representation, and local Veteran Service Offices that can assist with connections to VA benefits and other support.

Veteran assistance through GLCAP is available for residents of Erie, Hancock, Huron, Lorain, Lucas, Ottawa, Sandusky, Seneca, Wood, and Wyandot County. Income guidelines apply. Applicants must be at or below 80% of their county’s median income.

For more information on SSVF, call 1-800-775-9767 or visit www.glcap.org/veterans.

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