The Department of Veterans Affairs has given a grant of $340,240 to Salt Lake County for about 60 homeless and at-risk veterans' families served by The Road Home, which provides emergency shelter and housing services for men, women and children.
Such awards will serve families associated with the VA's Supportive Services for Veteran Families program (SSVF) operating in 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
Like other community organizations, The Road Home helps connect veterans and their families with mental health care, assistance with rent for up to five months, unpaid debt and utility bills, utilities security deposits and moving costs.
The VA grant is a substantial amount of money to bolster that, said Melanie Zamora, director of housing programs.
The Road Home teams up with the county, VA homeless outreach, Volunteers of America, the state, Salt Lake County and other partners that help target veterans in shelters and in the community.
"We serve about 150 veterans in the shelter at any given time," Zamora said. "We are specifically targeting the chronically homeless, single individuals and families with kids."
The Road Home had planned to serve 20 SSVF families, but Zamora said officials expect up to 90 when the fiscal year ends on Sept. 30.
In addition, community efforts have helped more than 80 chronically homeless veterans in the past 10 months.
"We're excited about that," Zamora said. "We believe we can end chronic homelessness, and we believe we're really close to that. We have a lot of work to do, but we're going to do it."