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HUD Secretary announces $5.9 Million award to 26 tribes

Peggy Browning / Red Dirt Report
HUD Sec. Julian Castro was in Tulsa on Friday.
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TULSA, Okla. -- Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro announced the award of $5.9 million to 26 tribes at the winter meeting of the Inter-Tribal Council of the Five Civilized Tribes in Tulsa Friday, Jan. 8.

“By targeting resources directly to Tribes, we can better honor the service and sacrifice of Native American Veterans who now need a roof over their heads,” Castro said. “These heroes deserve hope for a brighter future, and by offering permanent housing solutions, combined with needed services and case management, we can work with Tribes to end veteran homelessness.”

The financial award is the result of collaboration between HUD and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to offer a permanent home and supportive services to Native American Veterans who are either homeless or at risk of experiencing homelessness.  The money will be distributed through grants for Tribal HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing.

According to a statement from HUD, the Tribal HUD-VASH Program is a demonstration program that combines $5.9 million in rental assistance from HUD with case management and clinical services provided by VA to specifically serve 500 Native American Veterans.

Members of the Creek Nation Honor Guard opened the General Assembly by presenting the flags. 
From left, by last name: McIntosh, Kilcrease, Thomas, Francis, Yahola. (Peggy Browning / Red Dirt Report)

HUD and the VA have addressed the problem of homeless veterans since 2008. More than 90,000 homeless veterans have been served through the broader HUD-VASH program and more than 79,000 vouchers were distributed. In 2015, Congress authorized funding for a demonstration program to expand HUD-VASH into Indian Country to prevent and end homelessness for Native American veterans.

From Alaska to New Mexico, the 26 tribes, will deliver and manage the housing vouchers and services among eligible members on tribal lands.  The Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Osage Nation, Choctaw Nation, Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes and Cherokee Nation , all of Oklahoma, received almost $1.2 million altogether.  That amount will be used to aid at least 100 Native American Veterans through rental assistance and supportive services.

After Castro announced the award to the 26 Tribes, Richard Crockett, Interim Director of VA Affairs in Muskogee also spoke to the crowd gathered at the meeting.

“It is our unambiguous mission to end homelessness for veterans,” Crockett said. “It is our sacred mission to bring vets home … to their home.”

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Peggy Browning

Peggy Browning is a freelance journalist and writer, born and raised in Joy, Texas. She recently...

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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