Tampa Bay veterans at risk of losing their housing during the coronavirus pandemic can get rental and utility payment assistance from the St. Petersburg nonprofit, St. Vincent de Paul CARES.
Eligible veterans in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco, Polk, Citrus, Lake, Sumter, Hernando, Desoto, Highlands, Hardee, Lee and Collier counties can call 1-844-455-7783 to apply for immediate financial assistance, said Michael Raposa, chief executive of the nonprofit. Funding is available through July 31.
The funds of at least $2 million, administered by the local nonprofit, come from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Supportive Services for Veteran Families program, Raposa said.
The national program received a boost from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act to “mitigate the expected wave of evictions and potential homelessness that will result from extensive unemployment,” according to a release. Other programs with a boost in funding included the Grant and Per Diem Program that helps community organizations provide transitional housing and supportive services to veterans in need, and the Health Care for Homeless Veterans Program, which offers emergency shelter and treatment.
“A significant percentage of homeless veterans or those at risk of homelessness are uniquely vulnerable to COVID-19 due to their living conditions, age and chronic health complications,” said U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie in a statement.
Eligible low-income veterans must have an income less than 50 percent of the area median income, lack the resources to maintain stable housing and have been honorably discharged, Raposa said. While the program cannot assist with mortgage expenses, homeowners can still seek utility payment assistance, he said.
• • •
Tampa Bay Times coronavirus coverage
GET THE DAYSTARTER MORNING UPDATE: Sign up to receive the most up-to-date information.
SO YOU WANT TO LEAVE YOUR HOUSE? Read these 10 tips first
LOCAL RESTAURANTS: The updated database of Tampa Bay restaurants open for dine-in or takeout
UNEMPLOYMENT Q&A: We answer your questions about Florida unemployment benefits
LISTEN TO THE CORONAVIRUS PODCAST: New episodes every week, including interviews with experts and reporters
HAVE A TIP?: Send us confidential news tips
We’re working hard to bring you the latest news on the coronavirus in Florida. This effort takes a lot of resources to gather and update. If you haven’t already subscribed, please consider buying a print or digital subscription.