SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO AM) -The U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Eric K. Shinseki announced that HUD will provide 60-million dollars for public housing for homeless veterans. Out of that money, South Dakota will receive 56,112-dollars for its homeless veterans.
“Our major goal is to end homelessness for veterans in a partnership with HUD and the VA at national levels,” said Candice Cummings, Homeless Coordinator, Sioux Falls VA. “Sioux Falls housing will receive the vouchers and then the VA will be able to provide case management. These vouchers will then allow veterans to find affordable housing.”
Cummings said the Sioux Falls VA sees over 300 homeless veterans in a year’s time. Many of these veterans are homeless because of physical problems, lost a job or their family situations have changed. It’s a tough spot to be in and sometime very hard for veterans to pull themselves out.
“If anyone knows a homeless veteran, they should call us at the Sioux Falls V.A. so we can get them the help they need,” said Cummings. “We can make them part of the healthcare system and get them needed medications. We can help them with their physical needs, substance abuse and if there are mental health issues, we can help them in those areas too. We have programs that can help them with employment needs.”
Cummings said the impact of these housing grants on veterans is huge. If you don’t have a place to live, you can’t do anything else. You can’t leave a phone number for and employer, and you don’t have a place to go at the end of the day. A home is first on the list of human needs and we will work with local veterans to get them what they need.
If you know a homeless veteran, call the Sioux Falls V.A. at (605) 336-3230 ext. 6135 or ask for the homeless staff at ext. 6890.
Candace Cummings was interviewed on the Greg Belfrage Show June 4, 2013.