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Program Offers Support For Westchester Veterans

The Family Services of Westchester’s Veterans Outreach Project, a program funded by the Westchester Community Foundation, helps returning veterans with issues of all kinds.
The Family Services of Westchester’s Veterans Outreach Project, a program funded by the Westchester Community Foundation, helps returning veterans with issues of all kinds. Photo Credit: Family Services of Westchester

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Marie, a much-decorated veteran who served as a corporal in the Army from 2008-2012, returned home to New York following her discharge.

She had a baby and immediately faced problems with her landlord who threatened to evict her. Seeking assistance, but finding fragmented and disparate services for veterans, Marie learned of Family Services of Westchester’s (FSW’s) Veterans Outreach Project, a program funded by the Westchester Community Foundation.

FSW’s case manager became a strong advocate for the young woman, speaking with her Section 8 caseworker and informing her about services available to help her maintain housing.

The veteran was also eager to continue her education, so the case manager found an opportunity for her to take the college entrance exams at no cost. She was also able secured permanent housing.

Since 2012, WCF grants totaling $150,000 have helped FSW build its outreach to post 9/11 veterans and their families, offering case management, support groups, housing and employment assistance, and access to public benefits.

“We learned that, as returning veterans and their families address the traumatic impact of long-term and/or repeated deployments, many do not turn to the Veterans Administration. Instead they look locally for support. We learned that many other veterans from other deployments needed help as well. We are proud to have helped FSW take the lead through our seed grants to address these emerging needs,” said Laura Rossi, executive director of the Foundation.

FSW teams with multiple veteran service agencies, colleges, and social service agencies to facilitate outreach and support to veterans in Westchester. It also provided referrals for supportive services to veterans living in Putnam, Orange, the Bronx and Queens.

The FSW recent collaboration with the Westchester County Continuum of Care Patriot Housing Initiative to identify gaps in housing services for veterans, was instrumental in housing 85 veterans within 100 days. In addition, they worked closely with the City of Mount Vernon, which had unused housing vouchers, to locate and help homeless veterans in need of secure housing and other services.

For help, contact Jennifer Seager, program director at 914-872-5242 or jseager@fsw.org

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