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Posted on: July 14, 2022

County provides $100,000 grant to VFW Post to help with veteran homelessness

Photo of soldier's sleeve with American flag patch

GASTONIA, N.C. – Gaston County Government continues to work on the issue of homelessness in our community, announcing today a $100,000 grant to VFW Post 9337.

VFW Post 9337 Commander Charles McGinnis said the Post is committed to providing financial assistance to help veterans who are experiencing homelessness or are in danger of becoming homeless. The money can be used for housing-related expenses, including rent, utilities, hotel stays or mortgage payment assistance. McGinnis said food assistance is also part of the program.

“We are excited about the opportunity this grant provides to help us enhance the services we are already providing to our veteran community,” said McGinnis. “Having the County’s financial support will make a substantial difference in the type of aid we provide.”

Gaston County has 13,861 registered veterans in total. 

Board of Commissioners Vice Chairman Bob Hovis (R-Crowders Mountain Township) said the grant was structured in a way to ensure the money was used appropriately. 

“This is not a blank check,” he said. “The rules of the grant and the reporting requirements ensure that the money the VFW Post provides is going where it needs to help directly address the problem of homelessness among our veteran community.”

Payments will be made to vendors or service providers and not to individuals. 

“We care deeply about our veteran community, and believe no one who honorably served our country should be subjected to homelessness,” Commissioner Allen Fraley (R-Cherryville Township) said.

Dallas Township Commissioner Tracy Philbeck said the grant is in line with the recommendations of the Intergovernmental and Interagency Task Force on Homelessness, which he chaired in 2021. 

“Our County is committed to taking action to addressing some of the most complex problems in our society,” Philbeck said. “This grant is a demonstration of our commitment to making sure anyone on the verge of homelessness or already out on the streets knows that help is available to them.”

“The VFW Post has existing relationships with many of these veterans in need,” Commissioner Ronnie Worley (R-South Point Township) said. “We’re doing the most with our resources by connecting our funding to the folks who already have the boots on the ground to begin immediately helping people.”

Commissioner Tom Keigher (R-Gastonia Township) said he wants this grant to be the start of a long-lasting relationship.

“It's my hope that there will be sustaining funding for the future that will be able to keep the program ongoing and community organizations continue to step up to assist,” Keigher said. 

Board Chairman Chad Brown (R-Riverbend Township) said the grant demonstrates the board’s dedication to taking action on issues that will have a direct impact on those that need help the most. 

“This is what good government is about,” Brown said. “We want to be known across the region as a County that goes above and beyond to look after our veterans.” 

For more information about applying for the grant funding, contact McGinnis by calling VFW Post 9337 at 704-864-7321.

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