Centerstone to receive $6 million grant renewal to boost services for veterans

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Centerstone, one of the nation’s largest not-for-profit providers of community-based behavioral health care, is scheduled to receive a $6 million grant renewal from the U.S. Department of Veterans.

Project Director Phyllis Viltz said the renewal will allow Centerstone’s Tennessee operations to continue its assistance of the servicemen and women in Maury County, southern Middle Tennessee and beyond in a coverage area that includes 20 counties in Tennessee and an additional 20 in Kentucky.

The grant will support the organization’s initiative to find homes for homeless veterans and keep those struggling to pay their bills in their home through the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program.

“Since its inception, Centerstone’s SSVF team has worked diligently to not only connect thousands of veterans and their families to housing permanency, but also provide means to help them and their families achieve financial stability,” Viltz said.

The grant renewal will fund the nationwide program for an additional three years, solidifying its presence in Middle Tennessee and Kentucky until 2019 at an estimated yearly increase of $200,000.

Viltz said the renewed funding will allow Centerstone to increase its operations but not expand its geographical footprint.

“It gives us the chance to continue our work,” Viltz said.

Centerstone received its first grant from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in 2012. To this day it has collected $16 million in funding to expand and sustain the team, which provides eligible veterans and their families with support services including case management, transportation, child care, employment support, budgeting, legal assistance and with VA and other benefits.

Services also include time-limited payments to third parties, from landlords to utility companies to help veterans and their families stay in or acquire permanent housing on a sustainable basis.

Although Columbia is home to three Centerstone locations, veteran’s efforts are conducted from a Murfreesboro office with representatives traveling to the servicemen and women in need.

“We would like to work with anyone who qualifies with our services, Vitlz said.

SSVF has given relief to approximately 1,000 individuals from 579 veteran families, with 85 percent of participants successfully exiting services after securing permanent housing.

For more information, including coverage area, visit CenterstoneMilitaryServices.org or call (615) 460-4385 in Tennessee or (270) 282-0121 in Kentucky.

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