Funds Received to Help Homeless Veterans Find A Career, Not Just a Job
On June 1, 2016, Volunteers of America of Indiana, Inc. (VOAIN) received $300,000 from the Department of Labor to implement the Homeless Veterans' Reintegration Program (HVRP) in Indianapolis. The agency also received $200,000 to continue the same program in Allen County. The program in Indianapolis will begin on July 1, 2016.
HVRP will serve an estimated 120 homeless veterans per year in Indianapolis and an estimated 100 homeless veterans per year in Fort Wayne. The grant will fund a variety of services to assist homeless veterans return to the labor force. Services may include occupational, classroom and on-the-job training, as well as job search and placement assistance. Case managers will help men and women successfully transition to sustainable housing and good civilian jobs. (For an example of how the program works, read Randy's story - he was a participant of the HVRP program in Allen County.)
The number of homeless veterans has been increasing in Indianapolis in the past few years. According to the 2015 Point-In-Time count –conducted by the Indiana University Public Policy Institute – in 2013 there were 320 homeless veterans, in 2014 there were 370, and in 2015 there were 389. HVRP aims to stop the growth of homeless veterans in Indianapolis by providing employment services (as previously mentioned) to these individuals. VOAIN will coordinate efforts with various local and state social service providers.
"Volunteers of America received the largest HVRP award in Indiana for the 2016 grant year and is the largest HVRP grantee in the state of Indiana," stated Steven Potter, Director of the Veterans' Employment & Training Service (VETS).
The grant was awarded on a competitive basis. HVRP is the only federal program focused exclusively on employment of homeless veterans. Larcina Hicks, Division Director of Veteran Services at VOAIN, is very excited about the program expansion. "This is a great opportunity to honor veterans in need and give them the hope and support they deserve. I hope that our communities will support them as well, because we cannot do this alone."