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Ki Bois to offer services for veterans, families

By Sean Rowley, Tahlequah Daily Press, Okla.
McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Dec. 11--TAHLEQUAH -- In an effort to assist some of the area's neediest veterans, the Ki Bois Community Action Foundation recently announced the startup of its Supportive Services for Veterans Families program.

Ki Bois will hold a grand opening ceremony Thursday, Dec. 12 from 1-3 p.m. at the Muskogee office, 421 N. Broadway St.

However, Ki Bois began actual administration in its area of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs program Dec. 1. Funding is through the Veterans Administration, and Cherokee County veterans will also be served.

"This program provides extensive services to very low-income homeless and imminently homeless veterans and their families," said Candice Wilson, SSVF case manager. "We will be utilizing many community resources throughout our 24-county service area to provide these pertinent services and establish housing stability for our communities' heroes."

The SSVF is a "housing first" program offering case management services to qualifying veterans. The services are intended for very low-income veteran families in permanent housing or making the transition.

It also matches veterans with community outreach programs and services to address respective needs.

Qualifying veterans and spouses earn less than 50 percent of the area median income and are homeless or in imminent danger of becoming homeless.

In some cases, Ki Bois may provide payments for a short time to help with rent, utilities, moving and child care expenses to help a veteran family keep or acquire a permanent residence.

Office hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Veterans are not turned away.

If the qualifications are not met, the office will make a reference to appropriate assistance.

While its primary goal is to enhance veterans' housing stability, the SSVF can also point them to agencies that can assist with health care, transportation and financial planning.

"For those veterans seeking assistance, we ask that they call our main number," said Candice Wilson, a case manager for the program. "Along with our services, we work with other veteran assistance programs, including Veterans Affairs and the Cherokee Nation. With all of us working together we can help veterans find the appropriate services to fit their needs."

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Veterans, family members, or those wishing to refer a veteran can call (918) 681-7525.

"Ki Bois has put together a great group of case managers who have the veterans' needs at heart," Wilson said. "They are ready to help and it is exciting to offer this program. We are already working cases and finding stable houses for families."

srowley@tahlequahdailypress.com

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(c)2013 the Tahlequah Daily Press (Tahlequah, Okla.)

Visit the Tahlequah Daily Press (Tahlequah, Okla.) at www.tahlequahdailypress.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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