Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships

Partnerships Make a Difference for Veteran Families

Sometimes, a strong partnership is all that is necessary to make a difference for a family.  As Director of the Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the Department of Veterans Affairs, I work every day to build partnerships to serve those who have served this country. Recently, I was reminded of the impact our Center has on veterans and their families all over the country.
 
This past week, a Veteran with a wife and 2 children was in danger of losing his home in Georgia. The Veteran contacted the VA National Call Center for Homeless Veterans and was referred to the Network Homeless Coordinator from VISN-7 (Veterans Integrated Service Network) for help. Even though the Veteran was working three jobs, he still was under great financial strain as his wife recently lost her job in addition to the unexpected financial crisis of the death of his wife's father.  The Veteran was short towards his monthly mortgage.
 
The Network Homelessness Coordinator had a strong history of working with Veterans at risk of losing their homes, but this particular Veteran family still faced an unmet financial need.  The Coordinator had learned about our Center while attending a symposium co-sponsored by Senator Lindsey Graham and Congressman James Clyburn in Columbia, South Carolina.  When the Coordinator approached me as an additional source of help, I immediately suggested contacting Bill Nelson, the Executive Director of USA Cares.
 
I had met Bill in Waco, Texas, as another presenter at a Veterans Roundtable in Waco, TX.  Founded in 2003, USA Cares is a Kentucky based non-profit, charitable organization that is committed to helping connect 9/11 military families in their time of need with financial and advocacy support through direct grants. This work is done while protecting the privacy and dignity of military families and Veterans who request help.  All branches of service, components, and ranks receive assistance. Since 2003, USA Cares has responded to over 23,000 requests for assistance with more than $7,200,000 in direct support grants. Regarding this particular example, USA Cares provided the financial assistance necessary for the Veteran family.
 
Thanks to our Center’s partnership with USA Cares, and the compassionate, necessary work of that organization, a Veteran and his family were able to save their home and stay together during a very stressful time in their lives.  Such partnerships make a difference in the lives of not only the family described above but also many other Veterans who deserve all of the support and resources available based on their invaluable service to our country.
 
Sometimes, a strong partnership is all that is necessary to make a difference for a family.  As Director of the Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the Department of Veterans Affairs, I work every day to build partnerships to serve those who have served this country. Recently, I was reminded of the impact our Center has on veterans and their families all over the country.
 
Rev. E. Terri LaVelle is the Director of the Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

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