The Department of Veterans Affairs has awarded nearly $60 million in homelessness prevention grants to nonprofit community agencies in the District and 40 states under a new homelessness prevention initiative.

The department estimates that the money will serve about 22,000 homeless veterans and family members through 85 agencies as part of the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program.

“This new homeless prevention program will provide additional comprehensive support to veterans who have served honorably and now find themselves in a downward spiral toward despair and homelessness,” Eric K. Shinseki, secretary of Veterans Affairs, said in a statement last week. “This program expands our capacity to act before a veteran becomes homeless and to target the problem of family homelessness.”

A list of award recipients and details about the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program are available online.

The VA faces a class-action lawsuit filed this summer on behalf of homeless veterans for allegedly failing to provide stable housing to veterans suffering from severe cases of post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental illnesses.