New York, New York (October 27, 2015) – HELP USA, the leading provider of housing to the homeless in NYC, has been selected the recipient of the 2015 Community of Practice Collaboration Excellence Award given by The Institute for Veteran and Military Families at Syracuse University. The award is given to organizations in recognition of outstanding contributions to achieving high impact outcomes that affect the lives of veterans and their families.


Discussing the award, Maria Cuomo-Cole, Chairman of HELP USA, said, “We are pleased to be recognized by such a distinguished organization for our efforts to help homeless veterans regain a home and a place in society. We look to continue our collaborative efforts with other organizations in NYC and across the nation to better serve our nation’s heroes and ensure their well-being.”

HELP USA operates a Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program that provides homelessness prevention services to individual veterans and veteran families throughout New York and Las Vegas, and HELP USA operations provide veteran services and permanent housing in Philadelphia
as well.

The organization’s program was recognized for its efforts in coordinating the collaboration between all seven New York City SSVF grantees in 2015, the Veterans Administration (VA), and the Department of Homeless Services (DHS).  HELP’s program is a leader in New York City, having initiated or actively participated in all of the City’s collaborative efforts to end veteran homelessness, especially to address the condition of veterans with significant barriers to housing and stability.

HELP USA’s efforts in 2015 garnered particularly high-acclaim this year because of the scope and impact of the operations which not only involved the bringing together of the seven SSVF grantees, the VA, and DHS but also providing a portion of the staff to screen in-coming veterans, organizing and managing a weekly case conference, creating and managing the tracking and screening tools, and providing outcome and tracking of veterans in shelter and new veterans entering emergency shelter.

Due to the initiative, more than 600 homeless veterans were screened in the collaborative effort and HELP’s SSVF programs screened over 900 in total. The 600 homeless veterans screened have been enrolled in the various organizations that took part in the effort, many of whom have been rapidly rehoused or have been directed to an appropriate housing option. In total, more than 1700 Veterans and their families have received services from HELP USA in 2015.

There are some 50,000 veterans who are homeless and 1.4 million at risk of being homeless in America every day.  The collection of organizations working together in NYC offers the best chance for the population of homeless veterans in the area to have their housing issues resolved. A key tenant of this collaboration is to maintain a presence at the front door of the homeless system to ensure that services are immediately available and rendered for veterans seeking emergency shelter. This presence not only helps reduce the veteran homeless population, but also ensures that resources are effectively and efficiently allocated to those who need it the most.