10.07.09

Burr Applauds VA Homeless Grant Money Heading to North Carolina

First at Blue Ridge, Inc. selected by VA for funding

Today, U.S. Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), Ranking Member on the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs, applauded the decision by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to award First at Blue Ridge, Inc. in Ridgecrest, North Carolina, more than $125,000 to establish housing and support services for homeless veterans.

The VA estimates that last year, the grants helped reduce the number of veterans who are homeless on a typical night by 15 percent.

"Helping homeless veterans get off the street and back on their feet is our obligation, and these grants are an important step in that direction," Burr said. "I congratulate First at Blue Ridge on being chosen for this funding, and I appreciate their contributions to the community."

The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans estimates there are 1,659 homeless veterans living in North Carolina. The grant to North Carolina is part of the more than $17 million in grants to community groups to create 1,155 beds for homeless veterans this year throughout 19 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Last year, Burr authored the bill that authorized grants to address the issue of preventing veteran homelessness. Burr's 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.