New grants fund key veteran service projects across the state

New grants fund key veteran service projects across the state

The Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs this week awarded grants totaling more than half a million dollars to fund key projects that will improve veterans’ access to transportation, housing, health care and other vital services across the state.

The grants are funded through the Veteran Services Grant Fund, a new program established by the Legislature during the 2017 session. Based on the funding available, the evaluation committee selected 10 outstanding proposals from nonprofit, governmental and community organizations that are already providing significant and much-needed services to Oregon veterans and their families.

“Our partners are our greatest asset,” said Mitch Sparks, ODVA acting director. “They are doing amazing and innovative work to ensure all of our veterans have access to the care and benefits they deserve, and we are thrilled to be able to support and expand that work.”

The response to this new grant program was remarkable, as a total of 59 grant proposals were submitted, with requests in excess of $5.3 million — almost 10 times the amount of funding available.

Sparks said the response clearly highlights the large community of organizations who are doing important work for veterans statewide, as well as the many critical needs that still exist.

“This is a starting point,” Sparks said. “Through this process, we now have first-hand information that details the gaps in local services, with proposed solutions directly from the providers in those areas. We will be sharing this information with our legislative partners, and we are hopeful this program will be renewed for another round of funding.”

The Veteran Services Grant Fund receives funding from Lottery revenues, as authorized by Measure 96, which Oregon voters approved overwhelmingly in 2016. ODVA and its partners in the veteran community are grateful for the continued support and bipartisan leadership of Gov. Kate Brown, the Legislature and citizens across the state.

The complete list of grant awardees and their projects may be found here: www.oregon.gov/odva/Connect/Documents/Grants/2017-Veteran-Services-Grant/VeteranServicesGrantRecipients.pdf.