AUGUST 29TH, 2016

NORTHAMPTON — Services for homeless veterans in the Valley will get a boost with the aid of a $1.2 million grants for ServiceNet’s Shelter and Housing division.

The grant, announced Friday, funds a program called Returning Home, which is geared toward serving the needs of chronically homeless individuals as well as homeless veterans with mental health and substance abuse issues, according to a release.

“We’re very proud of the fact we’ve been recognized and got this grant,” Sue Stubbs, ServiceNet CEO, said Sunday. “I think it validates a lot of the great work that’s been going on for a long time.”

The increased funding, according to a release, will allow the organization to assist an additional 112 individuals over a span of three years as well as expand community outreach initiatives.

The grant is one of 30 that were awarded across the country by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). It is the only such grant awarded in Massachusetts.

ServiceNet’s Returning Home program is designed to help individuals who are homeless secure permanent housing and also aims to improve the overall health and wellbeing of those benefiting from the program, according to ServiceNet.

Besides its own network of emergency shelters, Returning Home accepts referrals from service providers across Berkshire, Franklin and Hampshire counties.

“This award reflects SAMHSA’s trust in the outstanding work our team has done to date in housing individuals who are chronically homeless,” Jay Sacchetti, ServiceNet’s vice president of Shelter and Housing, Vocational and Addiction Services, said in the release. “We are proud of the work they do, and this funding further stabilizes and preserves our Returning Home program.”

ServiceNet will also partner with the Hilltown Community Development Corp., the organization that will serve as the steering committee for the grant, the release says.

Michael Majchrowicz can be reached at mmajchrowicz@ gazettenet.com.

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