Tester Announces Housing and Services for Dozens of Montana Veterans

Grant Will Help Homeless Veterans in Billings, Kalispell, Missoula and Poplar Get Back on Their Feet

(U.S. Senate) – U.S. Senator Jon Tester today announced that dozens of homeless and at-risk veterans across Montana will have access to beds and services thanks to a grant he secured from the VA.

Tester, Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, secured funding for five nonprofits in Billings, Kalispell, Missoula and Poplar to provide housing, care, job training and career services for an additional 63 homeless veterans.

“After putting their lives on the line, Montana veterans have earned every resource to help them get back on their feet,” said Ranking Member Tester. “This grant will provide more veterans with a safe and warm place to call home, as well as guidance and support as they apply for jobs and get the health care they need.”

The grant is part of the VA’s Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem program, and will fund a certain number of beds at each organization. A veteran staying in that bed has access to housing, counseling and career services.

These funds will provide organizations with money for 63 beds through September 2018. Over the course of the year, successful veterans will be discharged from the program and new veterans will enter, which could result in hundreds of veterans served throughout the year.

Tester secured grant money for the following organizations:

  • Volunteers of American Northern Rockies, Billings, 20 beds;
  • North West Montana Veterans Stand Down, Kalispell, support services; 
  • Missoula Housing Authority, Missoula, 17 beds and support services;
  • The Poverello Center, Missoula, 20 beds; 
  • Fort Peck Housing Authority, Poplar, six beds.

Tester recently introduced bipartisan legislation to strengthen job training for at-risk veterans and fight veteran homelessness.

Since 2012, Tester has helped secure over $6.4 million to improve and expand housing and transitional assistance for Montana veterans.