Thresholds Earns Major Grant to Strengthen Housing Assistance for Homeless Veterans

Nearly $1 million grant will move more Chicago area veterans
from homelessness into permanent housing

For Immediate Release
July 30, 2013

Chicago — Thresholds, the Chicago area’s largest community-based mental health provider, announced today that it will bolster its outreach and services to military veterans thanks to a major US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The grant that will help veterans with mental illness find permanent housing, jobs, education and mental health support services.

“The grant does two things,” said Thresholds CEO Mark Ishaug. “Most importantly, it allows us to move more veterans from homelessness into permanent housing while also working with veterans at risk of becoming homeless by providing a range of support services to them. Secondly, the grant is recognition that Thresholds’ Veterans Project is effective and delivers results.”

The $973,000 grant, which comes from the VA’s Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program, supports Thresholds’ Veterans Project, which has served more than 300 veterans since its inception in 2010. The Veterans Project provides with homeless outreach, housing services, supported employment, peer-driven supports, substance abuse treatment, and integrated physical and mental health services.

This is the third year Thresholds has received grant funding from the SSVF program, which earlier this month announced $300 million in veterans service grants to community organizations nationwide.

Thresholds will use the grant to establish more “teams” of Veterans Project workers who will seek to bring more veterans into its program and provide practical housing assistance that ranges from providing down payments or security deposits for permanent housing to helping veterans find employment so they can stay current on rent payments.

To date, more than 2.4 million men and women have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Illinois is one of seven states with more than 10,000 homeless veterans. Currently, government funding serves only 1 of 10 veterans in need.

Whether they served in the Vietnam War, the first Gulf War, or the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, thousands of soldiers return from combat with scars both physical and psychological. For many, reintegrating into their communities and their former lives proves impossible. Unable to cope, the tragic outcomes of homelessness, hopelessness, and helplessness are often the result.
“The men and women of the United States armed forces have done so much to protect our freedoms and our way of life,” said Ishaug. “It’s not just our job, but our obligation to make sure that they too can enjoy the very freedoms they fought so hard to protect. This grant will go a long way toward fulfilling our duty to serve those who have served us.”

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About Thresholds

Established in 1959, Thresholds provides healthcare, housing, and hope for thousands of persons with mental illness in Illinois. Through research, employment, advocacy, care, and housing, Thresholds assists and inspires people with mental illness to reclaim their lives.

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