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Supportive Services for Veteran Families accomplishments after last year's expansion

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Posted at 7:54 PM, Sep 01, 2023

TULSA, Okla. — The mission of the Community Service Council is to combat challenges to health, social, education, and economic opportunity.

It is a non-profit dedicated to helping others.

One of its programs is the Supportive Services for Veteran Families or S-S-V-F.

Last year, 2 News reported about a significant expansion for the organization.

We are checking back in to see how Oklahoma's Veterans are benefiting.

“Anywhere that has asked us to go, we find a way,” Steffen Crow, Oklahoma Veteran Alliance Program Manager, said.

More than a year ago, SSVF covered 35 counties.

Now, it serves 57 counties in Oklahoma, including the panhandle and Oklahoma City area.

“It was a little bit of a daunting task because just that Oklahoma City area alone has almost as many veterans as the counties that we had spread out through the rural area of the state,” Crow said.

Crow credits part of the success to partnerships.

“We know that if a veteran calls, there is not a gap in an area where we say, ‘oh we don’t know who to call.’ We know who to call. It’s either us or it is them,” Crow said.

When the organization expanded, it took over an office in Oklahoma City.

That allowed it to serve families in many more counties around the state, using its already successful model.

“We have an amazing staff," Crow said. "So we are more than capable of doing the work."

The organization has a roughly $7.5 million budget, all funded through grants.

“There’s a high demand for housing homeless veterans just because of the uniqueness of the state and how many veterans we have. Last year, we successfully housed 880 unique families of veterans," Crow said. "So, that’s a very large number.”

There are some eligibility requirements to participate in SSVF.

The veteran must have at least one day of active service after training and then be discharged with anything other than dishonorable.

Their household income is below 50 percent of the median area income, and they are either homeless or facing eviction within 21 days.

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