Groups Work to Save Troops Homes

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 30, 2006 - One hundred military families are sleeping easier this year thanks to USA Cares and the Homeownership Preservation Fund.

"Across the nation, many military families are facing financial difficulty and a loss of income due to extended military service," Hugh Dukes, executive director of USA Cares, said. "We're helping relieve the stress our troops are facing, allowing them to focus on their jobs, by alleviating financial strains ... that might force a foreclosure."

USA Cares, based in Radcliff, Ky., is a member of America Supports You, a Defense Department program highlighting ways Americans and the corporate sector support the nation's servicemembers.

A home in Minneapolis marked the 100th home saved since the beginning of the year, said Dukes, who also is a retired Army colonel and chaplain. USA Cares accomplished this with the Homeownership Preservation Foundation through more than $350,000 in financial grants to military family homeowners.

"Because of this program, 247 military children are still sleeping in the safety and security of their own homes," Dukes said.

The Homeownership Preservation Foundation selected USA Cares in November 2005 to be the recipient of a $1.2 million grant over three years. The program was designed so grant monies could be used to prevent the foreclosure of qualifying servicemembers' homes by providing emergency grants.

In addition to the foreclosure grants, which often solve the immediate crises, USA Cares supports military families with quality-of-life grants and advice for helping avoid future problems by working within existing military systems.

The Homeownership Preservation Foundation provides free advice and counseling to pave the way to long-term financial health for military families. This counseling is specifically provided to military families who call 1- 888-995-HOPE.

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