By Darrell Mayo, SSVF Veteran Advocate
The Family Alliance for Veterans of America (FAVA) is proud to announce that we have recently secured new funding from The United Way Worldwide – Sioux City Emergency Food & Shelter National Board Program to enhance our food pantry for our Veterans in the Northwest Iowa area. Our staff in Sioux City previously relied on our Forest City office for grocery items for our hungry Veterans but were able to secure $2,500 for frozen meats and canned food items. Now that our Sioux City office has moved into a larger office, we can better provide more resources directly from FAVA to our local unhoused Veterans and their families. We are very appreciative of this award from this funder.
The Sioux City office also acquired funds to add extra staff to our workforce and will be bringing on a new Shallow Subsidy advocate to assist with enrollment and low-barrier case management needs over a two-year period and recertify for extra time as needed to ensure Veterans can maintain self-sufficiency. Our Sioux City office has tripled its workforce since first opening its doors in July of 2021, increasing from a single staff member to now interviewing for a third member for their team. They are also applying for the Grant Per Diem (GPD) that, if approved, will allow us to provide further case management to some of our more difficult-housed Veterans for a longer period, which will increase our staff to include a fourth member.
Sioux City has gaps in our community services for the unhoused population that allows for further growth of our local WestCare/FAVA team. Many rural communities in Northwest Iowa tend to send their unhoused to cities such as Sioux City, where more programs exist to help those that are living on the streets. The Sioux City community is finding itself lacking in basic support structures needed to help shelter this population, such as transitional housing and a low-barrier shelter with direct resources near or inside the building. Our Sioux City team is dedicated to increasing our local support structure for unhoused Veterans in Northwest Iowa. We are actively listening to learn what gaps in services exist and are expanding our partnerships to look at new funding potential.