DOL Announces Over $5 Million in Grants for Homeless Women Veterans
Will also serve veterans with families
WASHINGTON, D.C. � On June 30, 2010, the U.S. Department of Labor�s Veterans' Employment and Training Service (DOL-VETS) announced more than $5 million in grants to aid homeless women veterans and veterans with families. Twenty-six grants in 14 states and the District of Columbia will provide job training, counseling and placement services (including job readiness, and literacy and skills training) to expedite the reintegration of homeless women veterans and veterans with families into the labor force through the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP).
According to Department of Veterans Affairs estimates, about 107,000 veterans experience homelessness on any given night. Of those, approximately 5,000 are women and 1,300 are individuals with dependent children.
"The Department of Labor is committed to ensuring that these remarkable men and women successfully transition back into the working world," said Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis. "The members of our Armed Forces make enormous sacrifices for the nation. The least we owe them when they return to civilian life is a chance to earn a living, support their families and have a stable place to rest their heads each night."
Solis noted that this issue �hits very close to home� for her, citing her time as a member of Congress when she served on the Women�s Caucus and met many men and women service members.
These grants raise HVRP funding to $35.3 million this year. Secretary Solis has requested an increase of $6 million in funding next year for a total of $41.3 million.
"Female veterans and veterans with families face special challenges when reintegrating into civilian life," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for VETS Ray Jefferson. "This important emphasis of the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program will allow us to identify and communicate the best practices for women and families in order to accelerate the successful transition for these brave veterans into meaningful employment."
"It is unconscionable that so many female veterans, after serving our country, find themselves homeless," said Sara Manzano-Diaz, Director of the Labor Department's Women's Bureau. "There are barriers unique to this population of service members that leave them vulnerable to homelessness. Through these grants, the department will provide critical assistance in reintegrating these women into the workforce and starting them on a path toward self-sufficiency."
In addition to providing reintegration services, the HVRP grants will stimulate the development of effective service-delivery systems that will address the unique problems faced by this population of homeless veterans.