Support Services for Veteran Families
Support Services for Veteran Families (SSVF)
In 2009, Secretary of the VA, Eric Shinseki set a national goal to end veteran homelessness by the end of 2015. Since then, the VA has awarded SSVF funding to nonprofits throughout the nation to help achieve this goal and has seen a decrease by 33% in veteran homelessness since 2010. As part of this initiative, Fronts Steps was awarded 3 year funding to bring additional resources to the Austin Travis county area to house veteran households.
The Front Steps SSVF program is based out of our new satellite office at 2211 South IH 35 Suite 301 Austin, Texas 78741. In collaboration with staff located at Austin Travis County Continuum of Care agencies, Salvation Army and Caritas of Austin, Front Steps successfully housed 170 veteran households by the end of the 2015.
What is SSVF?
SSVF (Support Services for Veteran Families) provides short term, rapid rehousing assistance with intensive case management to very low-income veteran families to obtain stable permanent housing. The SSVF program focuses on intensive case management to help participants increase their ability to sustain permanent housing and reach their greatest potential. Housing Stability Specialists will work with veteran families to identify their housing stability goals such as locating affordable rental housing, obtaining or maintaining employment, budgeting, or applying for VA and public benefits. In addition to working with a Housing Stability Specialist, the SSVF program is able to provide temporary financial assistance to the veteran household for some expenses relating to housing stability.
Who is Eligible?
1. Individuals or Households with Veteran Status
- At least 1 day active duty
- Discharge status of anything other than dishonorable
2. Household is experiencing literal homelessness
Per HUD 24 CFR 576.2 (1), “literally homeless” is defined as an individual/family who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, meaning:
- An individual or family with a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings, including a car, park, abandoned building, bus or train station, airport, or camping ground;
- An individual or family living in a supervised publicly or privately operated shelter designated to provide temporary living arrangements (including congregate shelters, transitional housing, and hotels and motels paid for by charitable organizations or by federal, State, or local government programs for low-income individuals)
- An individual who is exiting an institution where he or she resided for 90 days or less and who resided in an emergency shelter or place not meant for human habitation immediately before entering that institution.
3. Annual Household Income and Assets are at or below 50% AMI
If you are unsure of eligibility, contact Front Steps staff who can assist with gathering required eligibility documents.
How to enroll in SSVF?
Complete a coordinated assessment to get on a centralized prioritization list for services:
1. Come into Front Steps (500 East 7th Street) for an in-person assessment (Mon, Wed, Thurs, and Fri 9:30am-4:00pm and Tuesday 9:30am-12:00pm)
2. Call the Caritas Intake Hotline for a phone assessment 512-472-4135 (Available Mon-Thurs 8:00am-4:00pm, Tues 8:00am-6:00pm, and Fri 8:00-10:00am)
3. Follow up and contact Front Steps SSVF Program Manager Taryn Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org
Is SSVF the same as VA housing programs?
The VA offers transitional housing through the Grant Per Diem program and permanent supportive housing program, HUD-VASH. Case management for these programs is provided by VA staff.
SSVF is a rapid-rehousing program funded by the VA. Case Management is provided by Front Steps staff.
“This program is supported by a grant from the Texas Veterans Commission Fund for Veterans’ Assistance.
The Fund for Veterans’ Assistance provides grants to organizations serving Texas Veterans and their families.”