The fact that our Congress loves to play politics on the backs of our veterans is not new news. They continually shout about wanting to funnel money toward helping our military families and veterans while gutting the spending that would help them achieve that exact goal. It’s no wonder then that people have gotten tired of waiting and are starting to set up programs and offer assistance on their own.
Here are just a few that we found noteworthy over the last few days.
The United War Veteran’s Council
The United War Veteran’s Council was recently profiled on Ny1.Com. This is a non-profit organization that was founded with the goal of providing military veterans with civilian support. The organization recently set up a recycling program that accomplishes two goals: it creates jobs and reduces the amount of waste that is sent to landfills.
If you live in New York City and have something that you think can be recycled, reused or re-sold, call the United War Veteran’s Council and they will send a truck to come and collect it. The money earned by reselling or repurposing these items is funneled directly back into other programs run by the Council and the jobs offered to veterans help them get back to work without feeling like charity cases.
Low VA Rates
Many veterans have a hard time obtaining mortgages when they get home (or when they know they are about to be discharged) because finding reliable work is more difficult than it has ever been. LowVARates.com is a program that is dedicated to helping veterans secure the reduced mortgage rates that are available to them as a part of their military benefits package. The program pairs case workers with veterans who need help making sure that their low VA loan rates are applied to the mortgages they are trying to get. The case worker works with the mortgage lender as well as the veteran to make sure that all of the paperwork is completed correctly and that the rates are right.
SSVF is actually Goodwill's Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program, a coalition in Spokane that is dedicated to helping homeless veterans and their families find safe places to stay and get back on their feet. The program was recently granted several million dollars from Goodwill Industries (which gets federal grant money to help programs just like this one around the country). The program, in addition to helping secure safe housing for veterans, helps set veterans and their families up with other services that can help them, like employment services, health services, etc.
Michigan Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program
The HVRP is an arm of Michigan’s Volunteers of America Program. It was recently awarded almost a million dollars in grant money to help veterans in Kalamazoo County access training and other service programs in the area. The program has already been successful in other parts of Michigan (almost a hundred veterans were sent back to work via the program’s coordinated efforts) so they decided to expand into Kalamazoo and, hopefully, will be able to help Veterans there too.
This, of course, might not be the best news to the politicians who are hoping to be able to claim credit for the work being done to help our nation’s veterans get back and stay on their feet. It is, however, wonderful news to our military service people and the families who love them and want to see them successfully integrated into civilian life once they leave the service.