RIVERSIDE, Calif. -

Riverside County supervisors today accepted two grants totaling $200,000 that will be spent on outreach programs and assistance for area veterans.

The California Department of Veterans Affairs allocated a $176,223 grant and a separate $25,000 sum, both of which will go into the operational budget of the county's Office of Veterans' Services.

The larger earmark is reserved for expenditures tied specifically to outreach and education campaigns, according to veterans' services documents.

Officials said the funds will support the recently formed Veterans Assistance Leadership of Riverside County (VALOR) Committee, which is involved in efforts to raise awareness about programs to help dispossessed vets and their families find permanent housing, as well as jobs.

The committee is also spearheading a countywide campaign to encourage businesses to provide ``veterans discounts'' for goods and services purchased by former and active-duty service members on Veterans Day, Memorial Day and Patriot Day or throughout the entire year according to committee Co-Chair Tom Freeman, a former California National Guardsman.

The $25,000 allocation originated from state Proposition 63 Mental Health Services Act funding.

According to an Office of Veterans' Services statement, the money will help improve ``veterans' access to mental health services and minimize health stigmas by assuring veterans receive appropriate physical and mental healthcare treatment referrals.''

More information is available at http://veteranservices.co.riverside.ca.us.