The City Sentinel Staff Report
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Goodwill Industries of Oklahoma recently received an $830,000 supplemental grant as part of the COVID-19 CARES Funding to assist veterans experiencing homelessness and their families in central Oklahoma.
“With the COVID-19 outbreak, we have seen a significant increase in the percentage of unemployed veterans spiking from 4.1 percent to 13.3 percent with single veteran mothers impacted greatly,” Goodwill President and CEO Jim Priest said. “With this generous grant, our goal is to house 100 veterans in 30 days during the month of July. Ensuring our veterans have a safe place to sleep at night is especially important amid the more than 1,200 eviction notices previously announced in our area.”
The Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program (SSVF) exists to provide temporary supportive services to very low-income veteran families who are homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless. Through SSVF rapid re-housing and homelessness prevention services, veteran households will be supported in maintaining long-term housing stability.
“Each year, the Goodwill SSVF program strives to house and assist more than 400 veterans with rent and utilities, penalties and fees, deposits, moving costs, transportation, childcare and more,” Goodwill Director of Supportive Services for Veteran Families Brondalyn Coleman said. “The grant funds allow us to expand our services to continue helping veterans in our areas as we partner with local law enforcement offices, increase our intake capabilities and further promote this service to veterans in our communities at no cost.”
Services provided within the SSVF Program include:
- Outreach – Goodwill staff provides outreach services and collaborates with additional veteran services providers to reach veterans wherever they may be.
- Case Management – Case managers match participants’ unmet needs with necessary resources and assists the veterans with creating and completing a personalized housing stability plan focused on long-term housing stability.
- Employment Consultant – SSVF participants receive access to specialized employment training, job readiness assistance, individualized employment counseling and skills assessment.
- Benefits Specialist – S.O.A.R. certified and accredited Veteran Service Officer staff members assist veterans with obtaining benefits they are eligible to receive.
- Housing Navigator – Licensed Real Estate agents provide landlord-tenant mediation, housing counseling, inspections and assistance finding a home that meets the needs of the veteran household.
- Legal Assistance – Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma provides each participant with individualized counseling services to help resolve housing barriers and assist with applying for public housing benefits.
Additional services included in the Goodwill Program:
- Emergency Housing Stability Assistance
- Temporary Financial Assistance
- VA Benefits Assistance
- Public and Community Assistance
- Referrals to other services, including health care, health insurance, education services, daily living services, personal financial planning services and child care services.
Services are available at no cost to veterans and their families in Canadian, Logan, Seminole, Lincoln, Pottawatomie, Cleveland and Oklahoma counties. For more information, call (405) 278-7100 or visit okgoodwill.org/what-we-do.