GREEN RIVER, Wyoming (August 20, 2014) – SW-WRAP, receives $1.4M for the renewal of its Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) Program by the U.S. Veterans Administration which has covered 48% of Wyoming since October 2013. SW-WRAP also has received a second award in the amount of $2M for the remainder of Wyoming and an expansion into areas of Nebraska and South Dakota.
SW-WRAP’s Founder and CEO, Cathie Hughes, has been active in procuring funding to assist vulnerable populations to become self-sustaining throughout Wyoming since 2007. During the past several years she has recognized the need, and been vigorously involved in, identifying solutions to address veteran homelessness in Wyoming. In 2010, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) reported that 13 percent of impoverished individual Veterans become homeless at some point during the year. In 2009, the American Community Survey estimated that 1,356,610 Veterans lived in poverty. Additional statistics have shown that 23% of Wyoming’s homeless population are veterans. In March 2014 Hughes applied for the renewal of the current SSVF Program project, which she initially procured in October 2013, plus an additional SSVF Project. She received notice of the multiple awards in August. SW-WRAP is the only Wyoming entity to receive the award for 2014-2015.
The SSVF Program provides supportive services to very low income Veteran families in or transitioning to permanent housing. It supports a partnership between community nonprofits and the VA to prevent at-risk Veterans from becoming homeless as well as to rapidly re-housing those who have fallen into homelessness.
SW-WRAP will provide a range of services to eligible Veteran families, such as outreach, case management, and assistance in obtaining VA and other benefits, which may include:
In addition, SW-WRAP may also provide time-limited payments to third parties (e.g. landlords, utility companies, moving companies, and licensed child care providers) if these payments help Veterans’ families stay in or acquire permanent housing on a sustainable basis.
SW-WRAP’s mission is to provide coordinated, collaborative services throughout the continuum of care-from social services to behavioral health and health care systems. “Employing a centralized intake methodology and wrap-around case management,” Hughes, remarked, “we are able to provide a no-wrong-door approach to veteran families throughout our state. We will be able to quickly connect them to the services and supports they need to live a healthier, happier and sustainable life.”
SW-WRAP is the also the service provider for the statewide Wyoming Aging & Disability Resource Center (WyADRC). The WyADRC is a no-wrong-door program that assists adults living with a disability and seniors aged 55 and older with quick connections to long term care services and supports. One of the key initiatives of the WyADRC, which opened in March 2011, is to keep people in their homes and communities at the most appropriate level of care, for as long as possible. Hughes states “the WyADRC and SSVF programs are a perfect example of a collaborative approach to providing services for our vulnerable populations including homeless and at-risk disabled and aging Veterans.”
During its first year, SW-WRAP had an aggressive goal to serve 275 very low income veteran families’ households who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless throughout Wyoming. The renewal of the grant funded program is slated to serve an additional 275 veterans, and the new expansion project aims to reach 465 additional veteran households. Focusing on a “Housing First” approach, these veterans and their families will be able to avoid homelessness or be placed into safe, stable housing, while addressing the root causes of homelessness.
Hughes states: “Through the VA SSVF Program, our goal is simple: putting and keeping a roof over the heads of our Veterans and their families. We are a team of professional veterans, counselors and citizens that understand our servicemen and women’s sacrifice and want to show our appreciation. In essence, we are serving those who have served and their families in Wyoming.
SW-WRAP currently serves Veteran families in the State of Wyoming from offices in Green River, Cheyenne, Sheridan, Riverton and Casper. The expansion will create additional Wyoming offices in Cody, Gillette, and Buffalo, as well as Hot Springs, South Dakota, and Scottsbluff, Nebraska. The entire State of Wyoming will be covered, as well as 3 counties in South Dakota (Custer, Fall River, and Shannon), and 8 counties in Nebraska (Sioux, Dawes, Box Butte, Scottsbluff, Morrill, Banner, Kimball, and Cheyenne). SW-WRAP will also be providing Central Intake & Screening services for these areas.