Funders Band Together To End Veteran Homelessness

A funder collaborative of 5 regional and national philanthropic organizations have pooled significant funds to support solutions that ensure veterans in San Diego County have critical one-on-one navigation of the system to more quickly and effectively help them be matched with, and given access to housing that supports their unique needs.

Two grants of $50,000 (totaling $100,000) will be made to Interfaith Community Services to add a Housing Stability Case Manager solely focused on moving veterans from homelessness to secure, permanent housing, and working with each veteran from point of entry, and to PATH San Diego to support a Veterans Housing Navigator which will engage with veterans living in interim housing and provide individualized support in navigating housing and military benefits systems to connect them to permanent homes.

Funding was made possible by grant made through the Military Family Support Working Group with funding from The Parker Foundation, Rancho Santa Fe Foundation, May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust, USS Midway Foundation and Funders Together to End Homelessness San Diego.

The Military Family Support Working Group (MFSWG) is a funder collaboration facilitated by San Diego Grantmakers that focuses on helping military families in San Diego County with the difficult transition from active duty to civilian status. In 2017 MFSWG added a focus on ending homelessness among all veterans and the announcement of these two grants is a culmination of their diligence in researching the most effective way to tackle the issue and ultimately putting up the funds and leading a robust grants process to increase case management staff working directly with vulnerable vets.

“We believe that a regional approach to ending homelessness that emphasizes Housing First principles and utilizes the Coordinated Entry System for data management is most effective,” said Vice President of Collaboration and Special Initiatives Megan Thomas. “Based on information shared by national and local experts, MFSWG understands that the system to access services can be complex and difficult to navigate. We also understand that while numerous veterans have requested services and possess housing vouchers, the limited capacity of agencies to support them presents a systemic barrier to their access to housing.”

PATH San Diego Regional Director, Jonathan Castillo, was excited about the impact additional case management staff could have for their work. “For Veterans experiencing or at risk of homelessness, accessing services and navigating the complexities of the homeless system is challenging. Sometimes an opportunity for housing is just within grasp when unforeseeable barriers make the dream of having a home again out of reach. The Veterans Housing Navigator position is crucial to help homeless Veterans finally make it home.” Mr. Castillo said.