MIAMI — Additional help and renewed hope is on the way for hundreds of U.S. military veterans who are suffering from chronic homelessness in South Florida. With support from a new $3 million federal grant from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Carrfour Supportive Housing — Florida’s largest nonprofit affordable housing developer — the Operation Sacred Trust (OST) initiative is leading the effort to provide housing assistance and supportive services for 200 struggling homeless veterans in Miami-Dade County.
Operation Sacred Trust is a collaborative effort between three Miami-based nonprofit groups – Carrfour Supportive Housing, PAIRS Foundation and Henderson Behavioral Health – with an aligned mission to end homelessness among at-risk veterans and their families living in South Florida by helping them move into and maintain stable, affordable housing. As the lead applicant in the grant on behalf of Operation Sacred Trust, Carrfour was the only South Florida nonprofit to receive funding from the VA this year, which is to be used specifically to help treat veterans labeled as chronically homeless.
“Operation Sacred Trust continues to make a life-changing impact in the lives of thousands of South Florida Veteran families,” said Stephanie Berman, President/CEO of Carrfour Supportive Housing, the lead applicant in the VA grant. “These new dollars granted by the VA will provide Carrfour and our partner organizations with the resources necessary to help veterans who suffer from chronic homelessness and put them on the path towards stability.”
The vision of Operation Sacred Trust, funded by the VA’s Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) Program, is to help very low-income veterans and their families suffering from long-term, chronic homelessness transition to permanent housing. The program’s comprehensive services provide outreach, case management, and resiliency services and will assist participants to obtain VA benefits and other public benefits, such as: health care services, daily living services, personal financial planning services, transportation services, fiduciary and payee services, legal services, child care services, housing counseling services, temporary financial assistance – including time-limited payments to third parties for rent, utilities, moving expenses, security and utility deposits, transportation, child care and emergency supplies.
In a letter of recommendation to the VA on behalf of Carrfour, Congresswoman Frederica Wilson (FL-24) voiced her unwavering support for the Operation Sacred Trust initiative and its success helping veterans across South Florida get back on their feet. “Though economic recovery has begun, too many families in the state of Florida are in temporary housing or without shelter and struggling on a daily basis,” said Congresswoman Wilson. “Carrfour has provided a crucial lifeline for my constituents including veterans and the disabled, who are homeless as well as those in jeopardy of losing their homes.”
Since its founding in 2011, Operation Sacred Trust has served thousands of veteran families across Miami-Dade and Broward Counties.
To learn more about Operation Sacred Trust, visit www.411veterans.com. To learn more about Carrfour Supportive Housing, visit www.carrfour.org.