• RESULTS FOR THE HUDSON VALLEY

  • 40,839,601
    Dollars Recovered for NY-18
  • 409
    Medals & Awards Returned to Vets
  • 9,892
    Constituent Cases Closed
  • 41
    Bills Signed Into Law

SCHUMER AND MALONEY DEMAND VA REVERSE DECISION TO CUT FUNDING FOR HOMELESS VETERANS PROGRAM

Sep 19, 2017
Press Release

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) sent a letter to the Department of Veterans Affairs today demanding that the agency reverse its decision to cut funding for Hudson River Housing’s vital and effective homeless veterans program. On September 7th, the VA notified the organization that they would not receive an expected grant of over $500,000 to maintain services for homeless veterans.

“Our brave veterans in Dutchess County and around the country fought to protect our freedom and it’s our obligation to care for them,” said Senator Schumer. “Our message to the Department of Veteran Affairs is crystal clear: reverse course on this wrongheaded decision to cut-off funding to this vital and successful Hudson River housing program to prevent veterans from becoming homeless.”

“We shouldn’t cheap out when it comes to getting our veterans off the street and into safe housing,” said Rep. Maloney. “We have an important responsibility to our veterans and I’ll keep working with folks like Senator Schumer and our local officials until we fulfill that obligation.”

Hudson River Housing will apply for an emergency one month extension to allow the organization to finish its existing cases. Local leaders including Senator Schumer, Rep. Maloney, Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro, and State Senator Sue Serino have all collaborated on finding alternative options to maintain services for veterans and called on the VA to reverse its decision. Last week, Molinaro sent a letter to the VA requesting that the agency reverse its decision. Rep. Maloney sent another letter directly to President Trump asking him to intervene in the matter.  

Hudson River Housing in the City of Poughkeepsie has received an investment of $516,145 every year for the past five years from the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program. The investment has allowed the organization to employ five full-time staff who provide wraparound services to homeless veterans. Two staff members are veterans themselves. Since starting the program in 2012, HRH has helped over 450 homeless or at-risk veteran families and are currently providing services to thirty veterans. The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness recently confirmed that Dutchess County had effectively ended homelessness among veterans. However, this status is reliant on local organizations which have the capacity to assist individual veterans who are at-risk or have recently become homeless.

The full text of the letter is available below and a copy of the original is available here.

Dear Secretary Shulkin,

We write you today regarding the recent news that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) intends to deny Hudson River Housing’s application for renewal of their Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program (SSVF) grant funding. These funds are essential to providing services for homeless veterans, their families, and veterans at risk of becoming homeless. The VA’s decision is misguided and is at odds with its core mission of caring for America’s veterans. We request that you immediately reverse your decision and restore Hudson River Housing’s SSVF grant funding.

The SSVF grant funds five full-time staffers at Hudson River Housing, two of whom are veterans themselves. Their jobs will be lost without these funds, and they will be unable to provide essential services to homeless Hudson Valley veterans and their families. Through the good work of these folks at Hudson River Housing, Dutchess County has been able to effectively end homelessness among veterans. But Hudson River Housing continues to see dozens of new cases every year. The loss of the SSVF grant means that many veterans with cases in the program could find themselves facing further hardship. Mr. Secretary, this is, simply put, unacceptable.

The men and women of the VA have been entrusted with keeping our nation’s promise to our veterans to care for them when they come home. This is especially true of our most vulnerable veterans – those facing homelessness. Denying Hudson River Housing these crucial funds would be breaking that promise. Mr. Secretary, We ask you to do the right thing, reverse this misguided decision and restore these critical funds to the dedicated people of Hudson River Housing.

 

We look forward to your response, and please do not hesitate to contact our offices should you need additional information.