Veterans Receives More Housing Assistance

From living homeless in Boston, Jeremiah Pinto and his family relocated to the Bronx where they moved from shelter to shelter in their attempt to get off the streets and feel some semblance to their old lives.

Pinto, a veteran who formerly served in the Navy, said he never thought that he will be among the 62,000 veterans who become homeless on any given night.

“It’s not something you even think of, why would you?” Pinto said while his two children seated next to him during a news conference Monday where several congressional representatives were present. “I was successful in the Navy, but then I lost my job, and it all went downhill from there.”

Pinto said their lives began to get better after they moved to White Plains and they got to keep their section 8 rent subsidized by a Westchester-based agency, the Westchester Community Opportunity Program (WestCOP).

Recently, the company received more funding that will allow them to help another 450 veteran families like Pinto’s.

During the news conference, Congressional lawmakers Nita Lowey, Sean Patrick Maloney, and Eliot Engel announced the availability of a $2.4 million grant to WestCOP and another agency, the Hudson River Housing Program. The new financial aid will allow the VA to help another 700 families struggling in the Hudson Valley. The budget will keep at-risk veterans from becoming homeless and will provide housing to those who are currently without a shelter.

“The sad reality is that homelessness plagues far too many of our nation’s veterans and their families,” Lowey said during the news conference at WestCOP in Elmsford. “With these badly needed funds, fewer of our veterans in the Lower Hudson Valley will be without a roof over their head. WE must continue our work to ensure that, one day, no one who bravely wore the uniform ever finds themselves or their families on the streets.”