Jamaica Plain-based Volunteers of America of Massachusetts (VOAMASS), a nonprofit that creates opportunities for individuals through residential and outpatient behavioral health treatment, re-entry for justice-involved individuals, veteran services and senior living, recently received two grants totaling more than $200,000 from The Home Depot Foundation for programs and projects at the Massachusetts Bay Veterans Center (MBVC) in Somerville.
VOAMASS received a Veterans Flexible Funding grant of $150,159 to expand its Welcome Home Project, which helps veterans secure permanent housing and remain stably housed. The organization also received a Veterans Housing Grant of $51,292 to upgrade MBVC’s security and HVAC systems.
“Two of the biggest challenges homeless veterans face are finding housing and receiving comprehensive, trauma-informed behavioral health care,” said VOAMASS President and CEO Charles Gagnon. “These grants from The Home Depot Foundation will help ensure that MBVC is best positioned to provide the services and supports that our veterans deserve.”
The Welcome Home Project focuses on assisting veterans transitioning from MBVC into permanent housing by helping them obtain rental leases and household goods while accessing continued case management within the community. The grant funds will be used to create a veteran aid fund and hire a housing coordinator.
The coordinator creates individual housing plans for veterans transitioning to permanent housing, identifying barriers, and managing solutions to ensure they remain stably housed and connected to community resources.
The Veterans Housing Grant will cover approximately half the cost of installing a new HVAC system and updating electronic security systems, including keyless entry and security cameras. VOAMASS will also purchase automated external defibrillators, emergency medical devices that can save the lives of those in cardiac arrest.