FOREST CITY, IA – A north Iowa veterans support organization is the first in the area to receive a special grant from the Veterans Administration.
The Family Alliance of Veterans of America has only been open for less than a year, but their reputation for helping local veterans speaks for itself, and now a national organization has taken notice.
FAVA is receiving $697,698 for a program called Supportive Services for Veteran Families or SSVF.
FAVA is now one of three SSVF programs in the state of Iowa but it’s the only one located in the north central Iowa area. In other words this program will allow FAVA to support low-income vets in 14 north Iowa counties. Those counties include; Butler, Cerro Gordo, Emmet, Floyd, Franklin, Hancock, Humboldt, Kossuth, Mitchell, Palo Alto, Pocahontas, Worth, Winnebago and Wright.
One of the biggest things FAVA will do with the grant money is adding an emergency drop in center which will give homeless veterans a place to stay temporarily. FAVA staff says it will provide a first step in the direction of stable housing.
“The assessments and intakes we’ll do immediately, we’ll get them into any kind of medical care they need, we’ll get them into stable housing, they will qualify for housing, we’ll help them with jobs,” says FAVA Director, Rhonda Jordal.
Another aspect of the new program will be providing veterans with legal help, essentially they’ll get a “check up” of any kind of issues relating to the law…and it will all be a free service provided by Iowa Legal Aid.
“What we will do is have a list of civil legal problems and we may just ask them do you have any experience in this part of the law or are there any judgments out there that are causing you to be chronically homeless,” says Diane Wilson with Iowa Legal Aid.
Along with the new program, FAVA says they will continue to provide the same services they have been since opening their doors in September of last year.
Construction of the emergency drop in center at the FAVA headquarters is underway and doors will open on October 1st.