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Federal Grants to Help Northern Wisconsin Homeless Veterans

State officials have a new plan to help connect homeless veterans in northern Wisconsin with social services and other resources. 

Federal grants totaling 1.2 million dollars over the next three years…will go to fund a new Veterans Outreach and Recovery Program. 

Veterans Affairs Grant Specialist Kelly Laabs says it’s trying to help homeless veterans access programs that provide things like housing or healthcare.    

“And so these services are already existing but they’re completely underutilized. And so hopefully the veterans outreach and recovery program is going to start hooking up the veterans with the providers.”

She says those resources should address mental health and substance abuse issues in addition to other needs. 

“You can’t get somebody housing and not help them with their other issues, because they’ll go right back out onto the street. You really need something encompassing that really helps people.”

Outreach specialists will be assigned to cover the 46 counties in the northern two-thirds of the state. 

Laabs says one way they’ll be able bridge the gap is by providing transportation, as well as navigating the network of available services. 

She says the majority of homeless veterans are believed to be in the state’s northern 46 counties, though she says this program will help in getting a better understanding of their actual population. 

The Veterans Outreach and Recovery Program will also provide veterans with three years of follow-up.  

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