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Veterans Leadership Program receives $1.8 M Federal grant


Veterans Leadership Program of Western Pennsylvania, Inc. (VLP) on South Side announced the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has awarded the local nonprofit organization with $1.8 million to provide transitional and permanent housing to homeless veterans and their families in the Supportive Services for Veterans Families (SSVF) program.

Through the SSVF grant, Veterans Leadership Program offers emergency, or rapid-rehousing, services to veterans who are living on the street, in a shelter, in a car or another place not meant for human habitation as well as prevention services to veterans who are at risk of becoming homeless. The grant also covers case management services and assistance with obtaining VA and other benefits, which may include services for: health care; daily living; personal financial planning; transportation; fiduciary and payee; legal; childcare and housing counseling.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs awarded nearly $300 million in grants to 286 non-profit organizations and consumer cooperatives in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

In western Pennsylvania, Veterans Leadership Program was chosen as one of only three organizations to serve veterans living in the following 18 counties: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Blair, Butler, Cambria, Centre, Clearfield, Fayette, Fulton, Greene, Huntington, Indiana, Lawrence, Somerset, Washington and Westmoreland.

“Veterans Leadership Program is proud to renew our SSVF grant for the fourth year in a row,” said Christy Pietryga, Veterans Leadership Program’s SSVF program manager. “Each year, our agency has exceeded regional goals because our case managers know how to manage and respond to veterans experience housing crises. We’re looking forward to working with our community partners on ending veteran homelessness in western and central Pennsylvania.”

Veterans Leadership Program was the first organization in western Pennsylvania to receive the SSVF grant in 2012. For the 2014-2015 year, Veterans Leadership Program served 797 veterans, 280 children and 198 adults.

Veterans eligible for the SSVF housing program must be experiencing or at imminent risk of homelessness. Proof of veteran status and a household income less than 50 percent of the area median income (AMI) is also required.

For more information about the SSVF housing program or VLP’s other services, contact Veterans Leadership Program by phone at 412-481-8200 or visit


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