11.10.05

Burr Introduces Two Veterans Assistance Bills

Legislation would help prevent veteran

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Richard Burr today introduced two pieces of legislation to help our Nation's veterans.

Senator Burr introduced the Services to Prevent Veterans Homelessness Act to provide $25 million in grants annually to coordinate supportive services to keep low-income veterans in permanent housing so that they do not become homeless. The legislation would increase access to housing assistance programs, physical and mental health services, access to health insurance and vocational and financial counseling. As a Member of the House of Representatives, Burr introduced the Services for Long-Term Homelessness Act, legislation to establish a grant program for services to end chronic homelessness.

Senator Burr also introduced the Veterans Outreach Improvement Act, legislation which would provide $25 million in grants for the United States Department of Veterans Affairs to partner with state and local governments for increased outreach to veterans by local Veterans Service Officers. The funds would be used to reach out to veterans and their families to provide better access to veterans benefits for which they are eligible and assist in developing benefit claims. 88 of North Carolina's 100 counties have Veterans Service Officers.

"We owe it to those who have served in uniform to ensure their service is honored and they are not forgotten when they return home," said Senator Burr, a member of the United States Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs. "Too many of our veterans find themselves in extreme poverty or even homeless. These bills will help our veterans receive access to benefits they have earned and reduce homelessness among those who have served."

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, North Carolina is home to approximately 780,000 veterans. It is estimated that there are over 43,000 North Carolina veterans living below the poverty line.