Durbin Announces More Than $1 Million in Homeless Prevention Grants for Illinois Veterans

[CHICAGO, IL] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced today that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has awarded $1,159,122 in homeless prevention grants to two Illinois organizations that serve homeless and at-risk veteran families. The funding is provided through the new Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program.


“Last night, in Illinois alone, more than 1,000 homeless veterans were on the street,” said Durbin. “We must ensure that when our brave men and women return home, they are treated with the dignity and respect they have earned. These new prevention initiatives launched by the VA are essential to improving the lives of homeless and low-income veterans and their families.”


The SSVF Program, a critical element of VA’s plan to prevent and end homelessness among veterans, will promote housing stability among homeless and at-risk veterans and their families. The grants are awarded to private non-profit organizations and consumer cooperatives to provide a range of supportive services to eligible very low-income veteran families. The services provided include case management, assistance in obtaining VA benefits, and assistance in obtaining and coordinating other public benefits.


Under this announcement, two Chicago-based organizations received funding.


  • Volunteers of America of Illinois: $719,400 in funding to assist approximately 250 participant households in the greater Chicago metropolitan area, including the Illinois Counties of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will.


  • Thresholds: $439,722 in funding to assist approximately 90 participant households in metropolitan Chicago, Illinois.


In May 2010, Senator Durbin met with the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, General Eric Shinseki, to discuss how to meet the needs of the thousands of homeless veterans in Illinois. Secretary Shinseki presented his plan to reduce the number of homeless veterans in the United States by half over the next two years and completely by 2014. In March, Durbin joined advocates for homeless veterans and Senators from across the country to oppose a provision in a Republican spending proposal that would cut 10,000 veteran housing vouchers.