NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WGGB) — Six Massachusetts veteran service organizations are benefiting from a $15 million federal grant.
The Baystate will get $1.5 million from the grant designed to help homeless and unemployed veterans. The funding will go toward classroom and on-the-job training.
“This is pretty fundamental. You send people to war, you make damn sure they’re not living on the streets when they come home. This money will help homeless vets and their families find jobs and safe housing,” said Sen. John Kerry.
According to the Department of Veteran Affairs more than 140,000 veterans sleep on the street at least one night each year. Meantime, according to the Department of Labor about 7% of veterans are unemployed.
Soldier On in Northampton is one of the organizations receiving money from the grant. The non-profit works with veterans in Western Massachusetts, Pittsfield and Albany New York areas.
According to Solider On Senior Vice President Michael Hagmaier this grant is just one of several they rely on each year.
“These grants allow us to enhance our services, really work individually with the veteran. It’s really essential, they have little to no income, so they once again can sustain, live in their own apartment or own house going forward,” said Hagmaier.
Soldier On is also looking forward to Congress renewing several similar grants that will help get 155 to 200 veterans jobs this year.
The federal grant was made possible by the Department of Labor and will take effect July 1st.