VOC Receives $1-Million Grant To Fight Homelessness

The Veterans Outreach Center in Rochester will receive over a million dollars this year thanks to a federal grant. The center plans to use that money to get veterans off the street and into homes. 

Gary Reubens is a Rochester native and navy veteran and didn't expect to have a home after he lost his job earlier this year.  

"It is a big relief. It's nice to have a new establishment and have new roots in it," said Reubens.

On any given night, 50,000 veterans in the U.S. are homeless or live in shelters. In 2009, the federal government set a goal to make sure every veteran, like Reubens, has a place to live by 2015. 

It fits in with the mission of the Veterans Outreach Center, which has been helping veterans throughout the region for decades.

"This program puts them in direct contact with services that answers of all the needs that they might have," said Alexis Ganter with the VOC.

"There's a huge a need out there in the community, and other communities as well, where homelessness and despair is occurring more. So, as a result of that, it will definitely go to good use," added Reubens

This isn't the first time this grant has been issued. Over the last four years the VOC has seen just how much the grant money can do. 

Last year the money helped over 500 families in Rochester. This year, the money could help more than 650. 

"We have always exceeded that goal by at least 20 or 30 percent. So, it really does make a difference for hundreds and hundreds of veteran families right here in Rochester," added Ganter.   

Gary Reubens has a home. And, with grant money from the VA, the VOC believes they can help a lot more people just like him. 

The VOC in Rochester is just one place that will receive this million dollar grant. There are 300 places all across the country that will receive similar funding.

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