Pinellas County Housing Authority Continues to Serve Homeless Veterans

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The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) along with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced this week that nearly $65 million will be used to provide homeless veterans with safe housing and services through the HUD-VASH (Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing) Program!

The Pinellas County Housing Authority will receive $583,328 in the form of 86 HUD-VASH tenant-based vouchers to help local veterans. Through partnership with the CW “Bill” Young Health Care System in Bay Pines, and the St. Petersburg Community-Based Outreach Clinic, PCHA will be able to bring Pinellas County’s homeless veterans the help they deserve.

“We are tremendously honored to have been selected by HUD to provide this rental assistance to additional homeless veterans in Pinellas County. Our partnerships with the C.W. Bill Young Veterans Medical Center will assure that we continue to work toward providing affordable housing to homeless veterans in a caring, supportive environment as they receive the services and care that they need moving forward,” said PCHA Board Chairman Joseph Triolo.

In addition to the 470 HUD-VASH vouchers administered for homeless veterans, PCHA has a veterans’ preference in place for the regular Housing Choice Voucher program, and opened the waiting list to all veterans effective April 1st.

PCHA Provides Additional Housing Assistance for Veterans

This week HUD awarded PCHA a second round of HUD Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) vouchers, bringing the total number of homeless veterans served by PCHA through the HUD-VASH program to 384.    HUD-VASH Vouchers combine Housing Choice Voucher rental assistance for homeless Veterans, with case management and clinical services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs.  PCHA works very closely with the C.W. “Bill” Young Medical Center to house eligible veterans.  “The on-going case management that the veterans receive from the VA VASH Case Management team, coupled with the housing assistance from the Voucher, helps veterans have a greater probability of success in their new homes and in getting the help they need and deserve” said Elisa Galvan, PCHA’s Housing Choice Voucher program director.

PCHA partners to provide housing assistance to veterans and their families through partnerships as well.  Most recently, PCHA partnered with Boley Centers, ServiceSource, and Blue Sky Communities to provide project-based housing vouchers for the new Duval Park veteran’s community in St. Petersburg.  PCHA’s Chairman, Joseph Triolo participated in the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Duval Park community on November 10, 2014.  The new development will consist of 88 private apartments for veterans with special needs, specifically those transitioning from a VA hospital or medical center.  Forty-four (44) of the units will be subsidized through PCHA’s Housing Choice Voucher program.  Duval Park will offer veterans and their families the opportunity to live in affordable, permanent, supportive housing with access to assistance in finding employment and continued access to community-based services.  “We’re very happy to be a partner in the Duval Park development providing housing assistance for more veterans and their families.  We will continue to seek ways to add more assisted and affordable housing opportunities in Pinellas County” said Debbie Johnson, PCHA’s executive director.

PCHA Celebrates October as Housing America Month, Continues to Help Homeless Veterans

The National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) named October Housing America Month, and as one of the first highlights in their “NAHRO On the Hill” blog, has featured Pinellas County Housing Authority’s (PCHA) new Pinellas Heights development.  Click here to view.   http://nahroonthehill.wordpress.com/2014/10/07/housing-authority-provides-active-seniors-with-a-community-to-call-home/

During Housing America Month, agencies across the country are showcasing all the little things they do that make a big difference in our communities.   In just this year alone, PCHA has opened a new community for low-income seniors, created a new computer lab at an existing property, established a new job-readiness, job development and job placement program, received funding for the continuation of the Family Self-Sufficiency program, received additional Housing Vouchers for homeless veterans, and was awarded Housing Authority of the Year 2014 by the Florida Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (FAHRO).

Earlier this month, PCHA was awarded an additional 46 Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) vouchers, bringing the total number of veterans served by PCHA through this program to 377.    Through a partnership with the CW “Bill” Young Health Care System in Bay Pines, PCHA will assist in providing Pinellas County’s homeless veterans the housing help they need and deserve.  We’re excited to be able to provide housing assistance for more homeless veterans.  It touches our hearts when we’re able to give back by helping them find and keep stable housing” said Debbie Johnson, PCHA’s executive director.

Though October is Housing America Month, PCHA continues to make progress and support the community daily. Later this month, the first families will begin moving into the Landings at Cross Bayou, the newest addition to the PCHA housing lineup. For all the latest information on housing development and programs, go to www.pinellashousing.com.

PINELLAS COUNTY HOUSING AUTHORITY ONE OF 24 NATIONWIDE TO RECEIVE SPECIAL FUNDING TO PROVIDE HOUSING TO HOMELESS VETERANS

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has announced $7 million to 24 local public housing agencies across the country to help homeless Veterans find permanent housing. As a result of a nationwide competition for the vouchers earlier this year, the Pinellas County Housing Authority (PCHA) has been awarded $111,093 for first-year funding to provide project-based HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) assistance to 16 homeless veterans at HEP West in Clearwater, FL. The funding commitment will exceed $1M to PCHA as these vouchers will be provided by HUD annually for a minimum of ten years to support the Project-Based Voucher contract with HEP. The C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center will provide case management and clinical services provided by VA. PCHA currently administers 315 HUD-VASH vouchers for homeless veterans in Pinellas County.

“We are tremendously honored to have been selected by HUD to provide these project-based vouchers to homeless veterans in Pinellas County. Our partnerships with the C.W. Bill Young Veterans Medical Center and Homeless Emergency Project will assure that we continue to work toward providing affordable housing to homeless veterans in a caring, supportive environment as they receive the services and care that they need moving forward,” said PCHA Board Chairman Joseph Triolo.

The new PCHA-HEP partnership will provide the HUD-VASH vouchers to Homeless Emergency Project’s

HEP West Apartments, located at 1101 Holt Avenue in Clearwater. HEP-WEST was constructed and put into service in June 2012 and consist of 32 fully furnished one bedroom, one bath apartments. Each unit is approximately 500 square feet and features a full bath and a fully functional kitchen with Energy Star appliances. The property includes design features that provide for resident safety, privacy and security including exterior lighting, security cameras/video surveillance, fencing, fire protection sprinklers and assigned parking. In addition to the case management and clinical services provided by the VA, HEP-West provides a full time case manager and an employment specialist to assist these veterans as they work toward self-sufficiency.

“We’re very thankful to be one of 24 housing authorities in the nation selected to participate in this program, and we’re excited about our ability to assure the continued sustainability of the HEP-WEST program, and most importantly, our ability to provide housing and supportive services to additional homeless veterans in Pinellas County,” said Debra Johnson, PCHA’s executive director.

Montford Point Marines Awarded Congressional Gold Medal of Freedom

The Pinellas County Housing Authority was honored to be in attendance at an early observance of Veterans Day today where the Congressional Gold Medal of Freedom was presented to Montford Point Marines, Mr. William C. Scott (87), Mr. John Tyron Ayers (90) and the late Mr. Samuel L. Blossom. Gibbs High School.  Honor Guard and the VFW were on hand to present the colors. U.S. Marine Corp Major Richard D. Marshall from Marine Corps Forces Central Command, MacDill AFB, Florida presented the awards.

Following the ceremony the City of St. Petersburg unveiled Mr. Scott’s home that has been rehabbed through the State Housing Initiative Partnership (SHIP), along with the help of the entire community. In recent years, Mr. Scott’s home in south St. Petersburg had fallen into disrepair, and at age 87, he needed assistance to rehabilitate his home and save it from structural damage and mounting codes violations. Through the SHIP program, volunteers and donations from various retailers, the city was able to offer Mr. Scott the assistance he needed to make the necessary repairs and stay in his home.

To see a few of the photo’s of today’s event and Mr. Scott’s home, please click here.

For more information about the Montford Point Marines please visit http://www.montfordpointmarines.com/

In observance of Veterans Day, PCHA offices will be closed on Monday, November 11, 2013.