San Diego receives funding to help fight military veteran homelessness

Posted at 5:52 PM, Oct 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-06 20:52:01-04

SAN DIEGO - More money is being poured in to help fight veteran homelessness in San Diego.

On Thursday, Rep. Susan Davis and Veterans Village of San Diego announced that the Department of Veterans Affairs is giving the VVSD $1.4 million to combat the problem.

Military veteran Larry Hilliard is among the nearly 1,000 vets living on the streets without a safe place to call home.

"We protect the United States of America," Hilliard said with tears streaming down his face. "I've been to Saigon," he said. "You never, ever want to go there. I'm a grown man, and I cannot take that [expletive]!"

Despite the suffering after his service, he said he would do it all again.

The horrors of war have littered hearts and minds with PTSD and depression, and Hilliard said, "There's folks out here that really need help. There's a lot of veterans out here."

The $1 million grant is part of the VA's Supportive Services for Veterans Families (SSVF) program, which provides services to very low-income veterans and their families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Funds from the grants will allow providers to offer veterans temporary financial aid for rent payments, utility payments, security deposits and moving costs.

The additional $475,000 in federal funding is through the Grant and Per Diem (GPD) Program, which helps vets get into stable housing, boost their skills and income and gain independence.

Hilliard thinks they should do more, but he admitted he has not asked for the help and does not plan to.

He is free to choose.

"This is my country!" he shouted. "Go on out there and find one better! This is the United States of America."

It has the only streets he is proud to sleep on.