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Grants For Veterans

Veterans often face real challenges in adjusting to civilian life. Veterans have a lower poverty rate than the general population, but their poverty rate is rising at a faster rate than that of the general population, and disabled vets, in particular, have a distressingly high 14.2% poverty incidence.[1] For a country that places a high priority on its armed forces, this is not acceptable, and government and private agencies and organizations have joined forces to offer programs designed to assist former members of the armed forces in achieving personal and financial stability and success. Many of these programs involve grants.

Grants are free one-time gifts that are available to qualified individuals. We are going to look at them specifically for military veterans and their spouses. They can be found at the local, state or federal level and can help veteran families with problems like financing education or housing, starting a business, job training and much more!

Education and Job Training
Considering changing careers? Want to start over and attend college for a new degree? These programs for veterans and their relatives can make going back to school or getting a new job a little easier.

The GI Bill is the US Government's primary program for veterans seeking higher education, including free tuition and in some cases living expense subsidies.

Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts provide up to $4,000 of financial aid to military spouses who are pursuing degree programs.

The Spouse and Dependents Education Assistance Program provides education and training to eligible dependents of some veterans. The program offers up to 45 months of education benefits for certain degree and certificate programs, apprenticeship opportunities and even on the job training.

The Department of Veteran Affairs - Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment Services program (also known as VR&E or the Chapter 31 program) helps former service people with service-related disabilities to prepare for, find, and keep suitable jobs.

The Troops to Teachers program, designed by the U.S. Department of Education and Department of Defense, helps qualified military personnel to begin a new career as public school teachers, applying their skills, experience, and knowledge in a field where they are badly needed.

The Military Spouse Employment Partnership was launched to expand career opportunities for military spouses. This program provides employment opportunities for relocating spouses, career promotion opportunities and provides pay equality and help with job placement.

For more information on grants for education click here.

Preferential Employment
Many companies actively seek out former military personnel for hiring. For example, the Xerox Corporation maintains a Veteran Jobs Mission to actively recruit former military personnel and a Heroes at Home program offering home-based work to veterans and military spouses.

Grants For Housing
If you are having a hard time finding affordable housing, making your mortgage payments, or getting a loan, then there are programs out there that may fit your needs.

The Grant and Per Diem Program funds community-based agencies with transitional housing for homeless veterans. Nobody who has served should ever have to go without shelter. If you are homeless or threatened with homelessness, or if you know a veteran who is in this position, call the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans at 877-424-3838. It's a 24-hour toll-free number.

Housing Assistance is available through several federal programs. Two of these, The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and VA Supportive Housing Program (VASH), partner together to provide permanent and supportive housing for homeless veterans. It works with those most vulnerable including women, those returning from combat, and those with disabilities. Learn more about the HUD-VASH Program. Qualified veterans may be entitled to a certificate of eligibility for a home loan guarantee from the VA, which will enable a guaranteed home loan from lenders connected with the VA.

For more general information on grants for housing, click here.

Grants to Start a Business
Veterans or military spouses who want to start small businesses will find a variety of programs to help them fulfill their dreams.

Operation Endure and Grow - The Small Business Administration has partnered with the Whitman School of Management which offer this program to National Guard Reserve members and their families. The eight-week training program helps new small businesses create a marketing strategy, develop a business plan and secure financing.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is a great place to look for resources and training programs to support small business initiatives. The SBA includes a database to help you search for loans and grants for veteran-owned small business and can help lower the capital you need to make the next step in your small business.

Conclusion
Many veterans and their spouses overlook scholarships and grants because they believe certain misconceptions like their VA benefits eliminate scholarship and grant needs or that scholarships are too hard to find and get. Sometimes there's also a reluctance to use programs perceived as "welfare" or to represent dependence on government. Don't make this mistake. These programs are part of the deal you made when you signed on with the military, and part of what the nation owes you in return for your service.

So do your homework, look into benefits, grants, and scholarships. Not applying for these is like turning down free money! Make the next step in owning your own home, starting your own business or getting that education you have always wanted!