Operation Sacred Trust
|Type||Veterans Service Organization|
Operation Sacred Trust (OST) is an initiative funded since October 2011 by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, Supportive Services for Veteran Families program to end homelessness for veteran families in Broward County, Florida and Miami-Dade County, Florida. The program provides eligible veteran families with outreach, case management, and assistance in obtaining VA and other benefits, such as:
- Emergency resources
- Case management
- Resiliency skills training
- Housing counseling
- Affordable housing
- Crisis assistance
- Landlord mediation
- Credit repair
- Mortgage resources
- Help accessing VA benefits
- Legal assistance
- Time-limited payments to third parties (e.g., landlords, utility companies, moving companies, and licensed child care providers)
A unique aspect of the South Florida program is the integration of resiliency training, which incorporates relationship education skills developed by PAIRS Foundation into efforts to help end and prevent homelessness for veteran families.
Two November 11, 2012 articles featured Operation Sacred Trust as a new model for ending homelessness for veterans. In November 2012 and May 2014, CBS Miami featured Operation Sacred Trust on the Evening News.
Operation Sacred Trust began as a collaboration of service providers with "aligned missions who have come together to bring their unique experiences and expertise to serve 1,000 homeless and low-income Veteran and their family members in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, located in the heart of South Florida." The four initial OST partners, Carrfour Supportive Housing, PAIRS Foundation, Henderson Behavioral Health, and Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida, brought combined experience of more than 100 years in the South Florida community serving homeless and other at-risk populations. Beginning in 2016, Operation Sacred Trust began operating as an independent agency with staff members provided by Carrfour Supportive Housing, Purpose Built Families Foundation, and the University of Miami Health Law Clinic.
Funding for the Supportive Services for Veterans Families program was initially provided by the 111th United States Congress through implementation of the provisions of section 604 of the Veterans’ Mental Health and Other Care Improvements Act of 2008, as published in the Federal Register. The initial grant that funded the program was $1 million annually. In 2013, funding from the VA was increased to $1.75 million annually with an additional $3 million provided for a three-year surge in Miami-Dade County in October 2014.
In total, between FY 2012 and 2017, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, provided $28.8 million in grant funds to three unique Supportive Services for Veteran Families programs in Broward and Miami-Dade counties, including $12.1 million to Operation Sacred Trust (42%), $8.7 million to Advocate Program (30%), and $8 million to the United Way's Mission United initiative (28%).
In order to receive services through Operation Sacred Trust, participants must be very low-income veteran families living in Florida's Broward or Miami-Dade counties who are either:
- Residing in permanent housing;
- Homeless and scheduled to become a resident of permanent housing within 90 days pending the location or development of housing suitable for permanent housing; or
- Exited permanent housing within the previous 90 days to seek other housing that is responsive to the very low-income veteran family’s needs and preferences.
Very low-income veteran family means a veteran family whose annual income does not exceed 50 percent of the median income for an area or community, as will be adjusted by VA based on family size and as may be adjusted and announced by VA based on residency within an area with unusually high or low construction costs, fair market rents (as determined under section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f)), or family incomes. Unless VA announces otherwise, the median income for an area or community will be determined using the income limits most recently published by the Department of Housing and Urban Development for programs under section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f).
Veteran means a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service, and who was discharged or released therefrom under conditions other than dishonorable.
Veteran family means a veteran who is a single person or a family in which the head of household, or the spouse of the head of household, is a veteran.
- Heard, Kaila. "New apartment helps vets get back on their feet". The Miami Times.
- Eugene, Phillip. "Family Readiness Support Assistant Making a Difference at the 841st Engineer Battalion". U.S. Army 412th TEC Public Affairs.
-  - U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Supportive Services for Veteran Families website.
- "Love of Country Inspires Commitment to End Homelessness for America's Veteran Families". FatherhoodChannel.
- "Initiative Aims to End Homelessness for Veterans". Fatherhood Channel. Retrieved 4 August 2011.
- "Clifford Johnson Shares Experience Overcoming Homelessness to Serve At-Risk Veterans". Fatherhood Channel. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
- Lilly, Christiana (11 November 2012). "Operation Sacred Trust Combats Veteran Homelessness In South Florida With $1 Million Grant". Huffington Post.
- Berman-Eisenberg, Stephanie (11 November 2012). "A step forward for homeless vets". Miami Herald.
- Newland, Maggie (12 November 2012). "Miami Man Turns Life Around, Gives Back to Fellow Veterans". CBS Miami.
- Zea, Natalie (24 May 2014). "Hundreds Of Volunteers Help Homeless Veterans Get Off The Streets". CBS News. Miami.
-  - Operation Sacred Trust website.
-  - 411Veterans.com website.
-  - 38 CFR Part 62, Department of Veterans Affairs. From GPO website.
- Farray, Yanira. "VA Awards $300 in SSVF Grants to Help End Veteran Homelessness". Veteran News Now. Retrieved 30 August 2016.
- "Initiative Aims to End Homelessness for Veterans". Fatherhood Channel. 4 August 2011.
- "Family Readiness Support Assistant Making a Difference at the 841st Engineer Battalion". U.S. Army 412th TEC Public Affairs. 28 March 2012.
- "New Apartment Helps Vets Get Back on Their Feet". The Miami Times. 18 June 2012.
- "Starting Homeless Veterans on Path to Housing Stability". Fatherhood Channel. 9 October 2012.
- "No Greater Honor". Fatherhood Channel. 8 October 2012.
- "Clifford Johnson Shares Experience Overcoming Homelessness to Serve At-Risk Veterans". Fatherhood Channel. 7 October 2012.
- "Operation Sacred Trust's Yvette Costa is Helping End Homelessness for South Florida's Veterans". Fatherhood Channel. 6 October 2012.
- "Love of Country Inspires Commitment to End Homelessness for America's Veteran Families". Fatherhood Channel. 10 October 2012.
- "Brother's Struggles Inspires Service to Veterans". Fatherhood Channel. 16 October 2012.
- "No Veteran Left Behind". Fatherhood Channel. 17 October 2012.
- "From the Trenches of South Florida, Ending Homelessness for America's Veteran Families". Fatherhood Channel. 18 October 2012.
- "Discovering Strength of the Human Spirit". Fatherhood Channel. 22 October 2012.
- "Rediscovering That We are Blessed Beyond Measure". Fatherhood Channel. 24 October 2012.
- "Thousands of South Florida Vets Benefit from $1M VA Grant to Operation Sacred Trust". Veterans News Now. 8 November 2012.
- "Operation Sacred Trust Combats Veteran Homelessness In South Florida With $1 Million Grant". Huffington Post. 11 November 2012.
- "A Step Forward for Homeless Vets". Miami Herald. 11 November 2012.
- "Miami Man Turns Life Around, Gives Back to Fellow Veterans". CBS Miami. 12 November 2012.
- Eisenberg, Seth (12 April 2013). "Ending homelessness for Veterans is not just about housing". Fatherhood Channel.
- Disare, Monica (10 August 2014). "Despite progress in backlog, thousands of Florida's veterans still wait for benefits". Miami Herald.
- Lomax, Jr., Tyrone (28 August 2017). "With a $400,000 grant, Liberty City gets a village for homeless disabled veterans". Miami Herald.
- Perez, Nicole (27 April 2018). "Homeless veterans move into new apartments in Liberty City". ABC Local 10 News.
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