MADISON, Wis. - The Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA) has been awarded $4.2 million to make capital improvements to facilities for veterans who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
The funding comes from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA), an Aug. 24 news release, and benefits the state's Veterans Housing and Recovery Program (VHRP) which provides temporary housing, training, and supportive services to in-need veterans.
"It is so important that we enable the well-being of our state’s vulnerable veterans," WDVA Secretary Mary Kolar said. "We are excited to make these improvements to our facilities so that the veterans who are receiving the tools and support they need to be independent and put homelessness behind them will have safer living quarters while we are still in the midst of this terrible pandemic."
"Our veterans have given so much in service to our country and the last thing they should have to worry about is where they are going to lay their heads at night," said Gov. Tony Evers. "I am glad to see these funds going out the door to help the VHRP continue it’s critical work to support Wisconsin veterans."
As part of the VHRP program, three transitional Veterans Housing Centers located in Chippewa Falls, Union Grove and Green Bay provide housing and services to 78 veterans in need.
- Chippewa Falls will acquire a new facility to allow for private rooms with private baths. The current configuration is suites with shared rooms and a suite-shared bathroom.
- Green Bay will acquire a new facility to allow for private rooms with private baths. The current configuration is individual rooms with communal bathrooms and shower rooms.
- Union Grove will upgrade the current configuration from shared rooms with shared baths to private rooms with private baths.
For more than 25 years, the VHRP has helped homeless veterans in Wisconsin receive the job training, education, counseling and rehabilitative services they need to obtain steady employment, affordable housing and the skills to sustain a productive lifestyle.
The grants are authorized through the CARES Act established in 2020. The improvements must result in less congregate and more individual unit style housing, thereby improving personal safety and reducing risks associated with close-quarters living, the news release indicated.