Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of homeless veterans in Southern Arizona will get help under a new $1 million grant from the federal government.

The Veterans Administration awarded the grant this week to the Southern Arizona chapter of the American Red Cross, which expects to lend a hand to about 800 veterans and their families.

The Primavera Foundation of Tucson was also given $877,000 in the grant program, a renewal of the organization’s grant from last year.

The grant funds can be used to help homeless and at-risk veterans pay rent, utilities, security deposits and moving costs. It can help pay for agencies to provide outreach, counseling and help getting public benefits or finding a job.

With an estimated 130,000 veterans, Southern Arizona has one of the largest veterans communities in the country, said Richard White, regional chief executive officer of the Southern Arizona chapter of the American Red Cross.

The program will directly help the estimated 3,500-5,500 homeless veterans in Southern Arizona, and others who are near homeless and struggling, White said.

Read more in tomorrow's Star.

Senior Editor, News, Arizona Daily Star, Tucson, Az.