Federal cut forces scramble to help homeless veteransDOVER — The Racine County area already struggles to provide housing for homeless veterans, advocates say.
Veterans from the Member Chimers perform the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" on Nov. 11, 2016, during the Veterans Day ceremony at the Wisconsin Veterans Home-Union Grove. The state Department of Veterans Affairs has announced it lost a $500,000 federal grant for a program providing housing for homeless veterans at the Union Grove facility. GREGORY SHAVER, Journal Times file photoThings won’t get any easier with the end of a homeless program at the Wisconsin Veterans Home at Union Grove, 21425 Spring St., at the Southern Wisconsin Center campus in Dover. The state Department of Veterans Affairs has announced it lost a grant of about $500,000 for its Veteran Housing and Recovery Program, which serves 28 people.
From Journal Times
Wirch blasts cuts to homeless veterans program
RACINE COUNTY — State Sen. Bob Wirch blasted federal cuts to a homeless veterans program in the county, calling it "shameful."From Waupaca County Now
Wirch, D-Somers, issued a statement Tuesday after the state Department of Veterans Affairs announced it lost federal grants for its Veteran Housing and Recovery Program at its Union Grove and King veterans homes. The program serves 28 people at the Southern Wisconsin Center, 21425 Spring St.
"Homelessness, unemployment, addiction and suicide statistics among veterans are much higher than the general public. This is a population that needs and has earned our help," said Wirch, who served in the Army Reserve from 1965-71. "We should be doing all that we can to help them get back on their feet. This cut in federal funding is just unbelievable."
No funds for homeless vets
The Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs will fund the program only through December 2017. “WDVA solely funding King and Grove VHRPs beyond December 2017 is not feasible,” Zimmerman said. The Wisconsin Veterans Home at King houses 19 veterans in its homeless program. Union Grove has 28 homeless veterans. The VHRPs will no longer accept new admissions and will begin transitioning program participants into new housing, Zimmerman said. Jesse Cuff, the Waupaca County veterans service officer, said he was sad to see the VHRP end. He noted that Wisconsin’s program for homeless veterans is more than 20 years old and has been successful at reintegrating veterans back into the community.