Homeless and low-income veterans in Duval, Clay and Nassau counties deserve better: better care, better resources and a better future.

Each day, we work hard to make life better for low-income Veterans and their families living in Duval, Clay and Nassau counties. Funding is provided through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program to promote housing stability.

About SSVF

We connect homeless and low-income Veterans and their families with partner agencies through one central application process.

Once a Veteran is enrolled in the SSVF program, we can assist in obtaining and maintaining housing through the following services:

  • Case management
  • Temporary financial assistance including time-limited payments to third parties for rent, utilities, moving expenses, security and utility deposits, transportation, child care and emergency supplies
  • Assistance for transportation and childcare
  • Housing counseling and personal financial planning services
  • Referrals to community agencies
  • Transportation & Childcare Assistance
  • Housing Counseling
  • Financial Planning
  • Financial Assistance

Photo of Mark Conine

Who is eligible?

Any Veteran who served in the active military service and was separated under any condition other than dishonorable may qualify for the SSVF program.

Mark was eligible

Eligibility Requirements

Any SSVF applicant must be a Veteran OR a member of a “Veteran Family.” The applicant must be literally homeless or at risk of homelessness and have an income below 50 percent of Area Median Income (AMI).

A Veteran is any man or woman who served at least one day of Active Duty Service in the active military, naval, or air service, and who was discharged or released therefrom under conditions other than dishonorable.

A member of a “Veteran Family” is either a Veteran or a member of a family in which the head of household, or the spouse of the head of household, is a Veteran.

Image Credit: Ingrid Damiani, 2014.

Photo of Mark Conine

Mark Conine, E2

United States Army

Mark, a Jacksonville native, was drafted to the army in 1973. His army tenure lasted exactly one year, 11 months, and 16 days. After the army, he became a welder. But when the economy took a hit, so too did his job opportunities. With nowhere to go, he returned to his hometown and started living in a tent in the woods.

The pain of an abscessed tooth finally pushed Mark to seek help. He qualified for assistance from the I.M. Sulzbacher Center and the Mental Health Resource Center, which led to his enrollment in the SSVF program for housing and medical assistance. This assistance proved invaluable when doctors discovered a cancerous lump in his throat. He immediately began radiation and chemotherapy. His treatment ended on December 31, 2012.

Today, Mark is cancer-free. He stays busy by preparing home-cooked meals to share with other veterans in his apartment complex.

Photo of Caress G.M. Lettine

Caress G.M. Lettine, AD3

United States Navy

Caress loved her job as an aircraft engine mechanic for the United States Navy. When her contract ended, she returned to Jacksonville (the first stop on her global military career) and found a job as a bus driver. Her civilian life was off to a great start. But eight years later, she lost the job.

Although she was able to find work as a taxi driver, Caress fell on hard times. She lost her apartment, her truck, and most of her belongings. Desperate for help, she reached out to City Hall — and was referred to the SSVF program. After three attempts to intervene on her behalf, SSVF successfully helped Caress find a place to call home.

Today, Caress’ life is back on track. She has an apartment and has taken classes to re-learn life skills like budgeting and organization, which will help her in her quest for a job.

Photo of Larry Suggs

Larry Suggs, E1

United States Air Force

Larry’s military career was brief; shortly after finishing basic training in 1978, he broke his back in a fork lift accident. He was discharged soon after his injury was treated, but the following year, his records were lost in a fire. With no documentation of his injury, he struggled to receive the assistance he deserved.

After decades of wandering, Larry set up camp with dozens of other homeless veterans deep in the woods of Oregon. It was there that a local VA representative found Larry and encouraged him to relocate so that he could receive better care. After moving to Florida, Larry qualified for a fresh start through the SSVF program.

Today, Larry’s future is bright. He has undergone treatment for a melanoma on his leg and is currently in secure housing. Soon, he hopes to become a veteran outreach volunteer so he can help other veterans benefit from the same life-changing assistance that he received.

More success stories

  • Photo of Mark Conine

    Mark Conine, E2

  • Photo of Caress G.M. Lettine

    Caress G.M. Lettine, AD3

  • Photo of Larry Suggs

    Larry Suggs, E1

Refer a veteran

So far, we have served more than 415 Veteran families in our service area and we are committed to serving many more — but we need your help.

If you know a veteran who needs help, contact us to schedule an eligibility screening.

If you know of a Veteran who may need our assistance, please contact us:

(904) 354-1100, ext. 301

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