VA supports a variety of community-centric initiatives that help local organizations connect the Veterans they serve with national resources. Our team at America’s Warrior Partnership collaborates with VA to enhance this aspect of the department’s mission with best practices and tools that empower communities to holistically and proactively engage local Veterans. An example of the tools our partnership brings to community organizations is The Network.
The America’s Warrior Partnership Network is a digital coordination platform that expands the reach of local organizations by connecting them to national resources. When regional resources either do not exist or have been exhausted, a local organization can consult The Network for a streamlined process to find vetted, quality Veteran-serving organizations they can collaborate with. More than 230 local Veteran-serving organizations are connected to The Network across the country, and the platform has established partnerships with more than 50 national organizations.
An organization that has had success utilizing The Network is The Warrior Alliance, a Georgia-based nonprofit that serves Veterans, their families and caregivers living in the Metro Atlanta area. The Warrior Alliance served nearly 1,000 warriors in 2019, including a few difficult cases that were only able to be resolved through The Network. One such case involved a Veteran in Atlanta who needed financial assistance leading into the holiday season.
“It can be difficult to assist a Veteran facing a financial challenge during the holiday season because financial assistance programs are often so limited that time of year,” said Jarrad Turner, Director of Warrior Engagement at The Warrior Alliance. “Our internal resources were exhausted, but thanks to engaging The Network, we were able to connect this Veteran with a trusted provider of financial assistance. Our community partner who referred this Veteran to us was impressed that we were able to close this case during that hectic time of year.”
Closing the gap
Alongside The Network, initiatives such as the Community Veteran Engagement Boards (CVEBs) are providing frameworks for local organizations to collaborate in closing the gaps between service providers. The CVEB model enables Veteran-serving organizations within a community to have a voice in identifying local goals that they can collectively work toward improving the lives of Veterans, their families and caregivers.
For communities where a CVEB is not yet active, The Network can serve as a valuable tool to help local organizations begin tapping into the partners they need to serve their Veterans. Veteran-serving organizations interested in learning more about The Network can visit www.AmericasWarriorPartnership.org/The-Network/. This web page includes an interactive map listing the locations of every group currently connected to The Network, along with a form that organizations can fill out to begin receiving assistance on how to make referrals through the platform.
Blog submitted by America’s Warrior Partnership