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Additional funding for homeless veterans but little coming to Amarillo

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Amarillo, Texas - Amarillo will be receiving addition funding for homeless veterans.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has announced an additional $7.8 million in funding for agencies to provide housing services for homeless veterans across the country. Amarillo will be seeing a portion of that assistance, but is it enough to help the panhandle's homeless vets?

"We're actually getting 20 vouchers this fiscal year," Chance Hart, HUD-VASH Social Worker said.

Which means 20 more homeless veterans will be able to receive housing assistance starting October 1st with the additional funding through the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program.

"It will add to the ones we already have. We currently have 135. Twenty five of those are in Lubbock and the rest of them are in Amarillo," Hart said.

Although Amarillo is receiving 20 additional vouchers, more than 100 people remain on a waiting list for housing assistance to get them off the streets.

Sixteen HUD-VASH veterans currently live at Another Chance House in Amarillo. Their assistant director, Bobby Nixson says an additional 20 vouchers is very beneficial, but it's not enough.

"No, the need is always going to be there, especially with veterans that are returning dealing with whatever it is in their own lives that they're dealing with. The need to provide services, housing, whatever the case may be for these veterans is always going to be there and it's going to grow as the veterans come back from wartime issues or where ever they've been," Nixson said.

During the most recent face-to-face count of homeless veterans, the Amarillo VA says 44 were reported. But, VA case workers say homeless vets actually triple that number. The panhandle is in need of every bit of support to get these former service men and women off the street and into permanent housing.

VA staff says those who remain on the HUD-VASH waiting list still have other assistance options available for them.
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