$3 million to help vets

LIHUE — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is making $3 million in grants available to the state for to help end veteran homelessness in Hawaii.

U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono and Sen. Brian Schatz made the announcement on Tuesday.

The grants will provide the United States Veterans Initiative in Honolulu and Catholic Charities Hawaii with $1.5 million each as a part of the VA’s Supportive Services for Veteran Families program. 

“We must do better for our veterans in need,” said Hirono.

Tony Elliott, director of Kauai Office of Veterans’ Services, said the department is structured now to refer veterans who are homeless or at risk of being homeless to the coordinator of the Department of Housing and Urban Affairs — VA Supporting Housing (HUD-VASH) program.

Barbara Johnson is the new HUD VASH coordinator for Kauai. She can be reached at 632-2562.

“We refer to her if a veteran is homeless or in danger of being homeless,” Elliott said. “She will tell them about the requirements of the VA, which may include entering a medical program and being drug and alcohol free.”

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