ALEXANDRIA, Va. November 11, 2020—Wells Fargo Foundation has awarded Volunteers of America National Services(VOANS) with a $3 million grant to develop permanent supportive affordable homes for previously homeless veterans using innovative construction techniques while also supporting much needed construction job training for veterans.
“VOANS is grateful for Wells Fargo’s leadership in the housing market and its focus on vulnerable populations in need of a stable, safe home,” said Sharon Wilson Geno, EVP, chief operating officer, National Services. “This is an exciting project to blend our areas of expertise and provide homes for our nation’s veterans.”
Together VOANS and Volunteers of America’s geographic affiliates will build new properties, and convert and repurpose existing structures to become permanent housing. Through innovative construction techniques—modular, container, and 3-D printing— Volunteers of America will create homes for veterans. While developing the properties, Volunteers of America will also provide job training for previously homeless veterans in the construction trades. Over the next three years, VOANS will develop at least 125 units in Los Angeles, CA; Austin, Texas; Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.; and Raleigh-Durham, N.C. markets, beginning in Los Angeles in 2021.
“Having a safe and affordable place to call home is an essential pathway for wellness, dignity, and economic opportunity,” said Eileen Fitzgerald, head of housing affordability philanthropy with the Wells Fargo Foundation. “Lack of affordable housing puts millions at the edge of crisis. Wells Fargo is committed to the importance of home for everyone in our nation, especially veterans who have sacrificed so much, and we are proud to support Volunteers of America’s efforts to address veteran homelessness, job training and stable housing.”
Since 2015, the Wells Fargo Foundation has provided more than $31 million in grants to support sustainable housing and homeownership for veterans. Wells Fargo’s collaboration on NeighborhoodLIFT® with NeighborWorks America has resulted in helping veterans across the country achieve the dream of homeownership by providing down payment assistance grants. To date, over $7 million in grant assistance has been provided, resulting in more than 525 veterans purchasing a home. Additionally, Wells Fargo donates homes and vehicles to wounded veterans or Gold Star families, who also receive financial mentoring. Since 2012, Wells Fargo has donated more than 400 homes valued at over $60 million to support veterans and their families in all 50 states.
As part of the national Volunteers of America organization, VOANS serves to advance, support, promote and administer health, housing and supportive services, employing more than 3,000 professionals across the country to operate its housing and health care programs. In addition to developing affordable housing, VOANS owns and operates one of the largest housing portfolios located in 42 states and Puerto Rico, which includes more than 240 properties containing more than 15,000 affordable housing units. It also operates six comprehensive campuses (skilled nursing and independent/assisted living), five skilled nursing facilities, four assisted living facilities, three licensed home health agencies, three Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly sites and one senior meals program.
For more information or to see a list of VOANS properties, visit www.voaseniorliving.org.