New York State Health Foundation

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Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Inc.

  • Project Title: Connecting Veterans and Their Families to High-Quality Community Services
  • Priority Area: Veterans' Health
  • Grant Amount: $173,010
  • Date Awarded: April 12, 2013
  • Region: New York City
  • Website: http://www.iava.org/
  • Grant Status: Complete

Overview

In response to ongoing challenges facing returning veterans, the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) recently launched its Rapid Response Referral Program for returning veterans living in New York City. The program links veterans and their families with case managers and veteran-specific resources across New York City, providing broader access to benefits in a community setting. Funded by the Robin Hood Foundation, the Rapid Response initiative in New York City has had a significant impact. By the end of this year, IAVA expects the program to provide veterans and their families with 1,000 referrals to vital community-based resources, including 175 referrals to mental health services. In 2013, NYSHealth awarded IAVA a grant to double its capacity by expanding Rapid Response across New York State.

Under this grant, IAVA provided comprehensive case management services, resources, and referrals to veteran-serving organizations. IAVA worked closely with grantees of the federal Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program across New York State to provide supportive services to very low-income veteran families living in or transitioning to permanent housing. IAVA provided veterans with timely connections to SSVF resources and helped to increase the reach of SSVF grantees in their communities. IAVA had already begun setting up contractual agreements with current and planned SSVF grantees to serve as a reimbursable referral source for veterans seeking IAVA’s assistance in locating resources across New York State at the time the grant was awarded. NYSHealth helped facilitate these discussions as part of its ongoing effort to provide technical assistance to organizations that are applying for SSVF grants.


Veterans Find Help and Hope Through Supportive Services
For Andy*, a New York combat veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, chronic back pain was becoming so severe that he was frequently calling out sick from his job. Depression also was compounding his problems, causing him to withdraw from friends and family and lose motivation in his work. After seeking help from a program that connects veterans to a variety of supports and services, Andy was able to take the first steps in reclaiming his life. Learn more.