Monday, January 11, 2016

Tribe Gets Grant to House Homeless Veterans

The Cherokee Nation is among 26 tribes to receive federal funding to provide housing for homeless Cherokee veterans.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) awarded $5.9 million in grants Friday to offer a permanent home and supportive services to Native veterans who experience or are at risk of homelessness. 

The Cherokee Nation will provide 20 vouchers for rental assistance using nearly $200,000 from the grant.

“The VA is already working with us to begin to identify veterans who need adequate housing,” said Gary Cooper, the director of the Housing Authority of the Cherokee Nation. “This is 20 families we can help that may not have had assistance before, and a demonstration project that once we prove is a good idea for Indian Country, will be around longer and can hopefully benefit more tribes.”

The Cherokee Nation has a veterans’ center to provide veterans resources and services, and has a contract in place to treat Native veterans with routine health care in tribal facilities with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

HUD Secretary Julián Castro announced the grant winners in Tulsa at the winter meeting of the Inter-Tribal Council of the Five Civilized Tribes.

"We applaud Secretary Castro for coming to Oklahoma and addressing our tribal governments on an issue that is important for us," said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker. "The partnership between HUD and the VA will ensure our Cherokee patriots get the assistance they need after serving our country. Cherokee Nation is striving to do more and provide more for our military men and women."

According to a statement, more than 79,000 vouchers have been awarded and about 90,000 homeless veterans have been served since 2008, through a broader HUD-VASH program.

“By targeting resources directly to tribes, we can better honor the service and sacrifice of Native American Veterans who now need a roof over their heads,” said Castro. “These heroes deserve hope for a brighter future, and by offering permanent housing solutions, combined with needed services and case management, we can work with Tribes to end veteran homelessness.”

For more information visit:

Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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