Veterans

United Way Awards $291,750 in Veterans Fund Grants

United Way of Tarrant County has announced grants totaling $291,750 that will be used to provide counseling, employment assistance and other high-priority community services needed by service members who are returning to civilian life in local communities.

The money comes from the Tarrant County Veterans Fund established by United Way earlier this year with $300,000 in donations from Lockheed Martin and Bell Helicopter Textron.  Additional donations increased the fund total to $327,165. 

One –year grants have been awarded to Catholic Charities, CLC, Inc., Recovery Resource Council, Tarrant County, and VETCO to support these services:

Employment: CLC, Inc. (also known as the Community Learning Center) has been awarded $75,000 to provide outreach, recruitment, skills training, job development, job placement and career advancement services to 75 returning veterans and their immediate family members who live in Tarrant County.  Priority will be placed on assisting unemployed, underemployed, and transitioning veterans and families.  Special emphasis will be placed on cooperative partnerships with other organizations supporting veterans and employment opportunities in quality jobs within the region’s high-growth industry sectors:  aerospace, advanced manufacturing, healthcare, construction and logistics.  CLC, Inc. projects that 60 participants will be placed in jobs paying an average starting salary of $15 an hour.

Counseling: Catholic Charities, Diocese of Fort Worth, has been awarded $65,000 to provide counseling services to 90 Tarrant County veterans who have returned from deployment in the last 10 years, who are either receiving other services through Catholic Charities or are referred by parishes, and have symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  Therapists will also be trained to recognize and assist veterans who have survived military sexual trauma. Therapists will use Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) especially geared to veterans in weekly sessions over a 12-week period.  Counseling will be provided at Catholic Charities’ main campus in Fort Worth. 

Counseling, Consumer Advocacy, and Peer Navigation for Women Veterans: A grant of $79,750 has been awarded to Recovery Resource Council’s Enduring Women Program to help 64 returning women veterans improve their overall functioning and fully integrate into the community.  Women enrolled in this program will receive 12 weeks of intensive group therapy and six individual sessions with a Certified Veteran Peer Specialist who will link the veterans to other community services. 

Legal Services: The Tarrant County Veterans Court Diversion Program has been awarded $52,000 to provide 60 veterans and military personnel who are not violent, but who  are involved with the justice system, 9 to 24 months of court-supervised treatment options for addiction and other conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or traumatic brain injury (TBI).  Women and men in the program are also matched with veteran mentors who provide support during the process.  Participants who successfully complete the program will have the charges dismissed. In addition, the program will pay for the court costs associated with having the case expunged for 30 indigent veterans who have successfully completed the program but cannot pay the court costs. 

Strategic Planning: The Veterans Coalition of Tarrant County (VETCO) has been awarded a $20,000 grant to do strategic planning over the next nine months to improve the current fragmented system of services that can be confusing to veterans and their families. The grant will enable VETCO to hire a strategic planning specialist and an expert in “collective impact” to create a system of care for returning veterans that includes a collective vision, shared measurement standards, and more effective collaboration among organizations providing services to veterans and their families.
$35,415 remains in the Veterans Fund for use in the future.

United Way Analysis Shows Gaps in Veterans Services

When Lockheed Martin and Bell Helicopter Textron donated $300,000 to United Way to establish a Tarrant County Veterans Fund in February, United Way quickly did an analysis of the needs of veterans returning to civilian life in Tarrant County and identified where gaps in local support services exist. 

“Returning veterans face numerous obstacles to successful reintegration into civilian life, including physical injuries, mental health issues, difficulty in finding work and a backlog of benefits claims,” said Pat Cheong, United Way Assistant Vice President for Advocacy, Research and Education and author of the analysis report. “Service providers don’t always have the training and experience they need to work effectively with the unique needs of veterans. Navigating the array of military benefits and services is daunting for veterans and service providers alike.”

The analysis included an initial meeting with selected VETCO (Veteran Coalition of Tarrant County) board members and community leaders, plus conversations with 27 veterans service providers, 16 veterans, and individual experts. Data was collected from other sources, and two "one-stop centers" for veterans were visited.

Based on the analysis, United Way has offered local nonprofit organizations and service providers the opportunity to apply for Veterans Fund dollars that will be invested in the services most needed by returning veterans.  Grants will be awarded July 1.

Services that will be given priority consideration based on the United Way analysis are:

  • Employment services, particularly those that would educate companies about the unique needs of veterans and provide career mentors within companies that hire returning veterans

  •  Supportive services co-located at schools where returning veterans are enrolled, especially where a consortium exists to share information across institutions

  •  Financial assistance services linked with financial education classes, particularly those services that offer concrete help, such as transportation, provided by volunteer groups

  •  Mental health and addiction services, especially for women veterans, related to post traumatic stress syndrome and military sexual trauma

  •  Peer-to-peer support groups for veterans and their family members, particularly those that link well to services of nonprofit organizations

  •  Community mentoring services, especially those provided by a network of faith-based organizations

  •  Legal services for veterans and their families

  •  Outreach services to identify returning veterans and assess their multiple needs, especially services that partner with the armed forces to begin the transition process before discharge and again at intervals after discharge

In addition, VETCO has been specifically invited to apply for Veterans Fund money to do strategic planning to improve the current system of services that is badly fragmented and confusing to veterans and their families. The nonprofit veteran coalition is dedicated to improving the quality of life for service members, veterans and their families.

To download a copy of the analysis, click here.

Give to United Way’s New Veterans Fund and Support the Service Members Who First Served Us

United Way of Tarrant County has established the Tarrant County Veterans Fund to support community-based services needed most by service members who are returning to civilian life in our local communities.

The new Fund is being launched with $300,000 in generous donations from Lockheed Martin and Bell Helicopter Textron, with the majority coming from Lockheed.

This Fund is going to make an important impact on the lives of veterans who are experiencing post-traumatic stress syndrome, unemployment, financial crises and other problems as they return home. It will underwrite services provided by local organizations that have a proven track record in effectively supporting veterans and their families.

All United Way contributions specified for the Veterans Fund will be added to the gifts from Lockheed Martin and Bell Helicopter.

To start the donation process, CLICK HERE.

 
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