11.17.09

Burr Amendment to Combat Veterans Homelessness Passes Unanimously

Last night, the United States Senate passed an amendment sponsored by Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs, to provide an additional $750,000 for services for homeless veterans. This amendment, which was agreed to unanimously, will provide funding for housing assistance and supportive services for veterans suffering from homelessness.

"Our veterans served our country with honor and they should not be forgotten when they return home," Burr said. "Helping homeless veterans get off the street and back on their feet is our obligation, and this funding is an important step in that direction. Also, since the funding is offset, it will not add to our federal deficit."

The funding allocated by this amendment will benefit the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) Homeless Provider Grant and Per Diem program and VA's Supportive Services Grants program. This money will go to help more than 131,000 veterans who are homeless on any given night including the estimated 1,659 homeless veterans in North Carolina.

Last year, Senator Burr authored the Services for Ending Long-Term Homelessness Act, a bill that authorized grants to address the issue of preventing veteran homelessness. This legislation was signed into law last year as part of the Veterans' Mental Health and Other Care Improvements Act of 2008. Under the Burr legislation, VA can make grants to provide supportive services that will keep low-income veterans, who are at risk of becoming homeless, in permanent housing.