A joint announcement from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Veterans Affairs on Friday, Dec. 8 confirmed a $5.9 million grant to assist homeless Native American veterans in their life after service. Permanent residences and support services will receive the majority of the funding.

"By targeting resources directly to tribes, we can better honor the service and sacrifice of Native American veterans who now need a roof over their heads," said HUD Secretary Julian Castro, according to The Washington Times. "These heroes deserve hope for a brighter future, and by offering permanent housing solutions, combined with needed services and case management, we can work with tribes to end veteran homelessness."

Twenty-six tribes are recipients of the grant money. They will manage and distribute the HUD housing vouchers to those who require them. According to the Times, the HUD-VA Supportive Housing vouchers are the result of a cross-agency initiative by HUD and the VA to quickly and efficiently house any veteran who has recently become homeless. Counseling and clinical support is also provided.

"Targeting HUD-VASH vouchers to veterans living on tribal lands opens new opportunities for helping Native American veterans exit homelessness as quickly as possible," said VA Secretary Robert McDonald.

Tulsa, Oklahoma station Fox 23 reported that since 2008, close to 80,000 HUD-VASH vouchers have been awarded and about 90,000 homeless veterans have been helped through the program itself. By assisting with rent and other services, the joint-agency venture has proven essential in putting an end to homelessness among former servicemembers.

Last year, Congress authorized an expansion of the program into Indian Country and directed HUD to work with Indian tribes and tribal organizations to make sure that qualifying Native American veterans – at least 500 of whom will benefit directly from the new grant – received all the veterans benefits they had earned.