State senate candidate urges support for veteran program

JOHNSTOWN – A former Saratoga County supervisor and current state Senate candidate urged the Fulton County Board of Supervisors Monday to support the federal Supportive Services for Veteran Families program.

Patti Southworth addressed the board on veterans’ issues during the public speaker portion of the board meeting at the County Office Building.

She requested support of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Supportive Services for Veteran Families, or SSVF program. The program awards grants to private non-profit organizations and consumer cooperatives who can provide supportive services to very low-income veteran families living in or transitioning to permanent housing.

“It’s a great non-profit,” Southworth stated. “They do wonderful work.”

She passed out brochures to board members that noted SSVF program grantees provide eligible veteran families with outreach, case management, and assistance in obtaining VA and other benefits, which may include these services: health, daily living, personal financial planning, transportation, fiduciary and payee, legal, child care and housing counseling.

The program also provides veterans with temporary finance assistance such as: rental assistance, utility fees, security, utility deposits, moving costs, emergency supplies, child care and transportation. More information can be obtained by calling 855-233-1117.

Southworth told Fulton County supervisors she was speaking as a member of the Saratoga County Rural Preservation Company. She said her group is very supportive of services for area veterans.

According to its website, the Saratoga County RPC is a non-profit organization, which includes VETHELP and Saratoga Regional Housing Services and is governed by a full-time executive director and a volunteer board of directors. The agency works in partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and other agencies to provide veterans and others with both shelter and support.

Southworth, a Democrat, is a former town of Ballston supervisor. She plans to run against state Sen. Hugh T. Farley, R-Niskayuna, seeking his 49th state Senatorial District seat in the Nov. 4 general election.