The United Way Veterans Fund benefits military service members who are returning to civilian life in local communities all year long. During 2015-2016, $380,000 in Veterans Fund grants to nonprofits is providing employment assistance, legal and mental health services, and information and referral.
The Fund is underwritten this year with $300,000 from Lockheed Martin, $75,000 from Bell Helicopter and $5,000 from individual donors. Established two years ago, the fund was the brainchild of Lockheed Martin, which has provided the majority of the funding each year.
Veterans Fund grants for 2015-2016 have been awarded to the American Red Cross; CLC Inc.; Goodwill Industries of Fort Worth, Inc.; Recovery Resource Council; Tarrant County Bar Foundation (Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans); the Tarrant County Veterans Diversion Court; and 2-1-1 Texas at United Way. The funds are supporting these services:
EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING: CLC, Inc. is receiving $75,000 to provide employment and training services for as many as 80 participants. CLC, Inc. reaches out to returning veterans facing special challenges. It offers training in advanced materials repair, welding, machining, production or logistics. CLC, Inc. anticipates that most of the veterans will be placed in jobs paying at least $15 an hour.
Goodwill Industries of Fort Worth, Inc. has been allocated $65,000 to help veterans and family members develop career and financial plans and participate in job or financial counseling sessions. Goodwill’s objective is for 75% of them to get a job with a starting salary of at least $12.50 an hour.
MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES: Recovery Resource Council is receiving $75,000 for services that meet the needs of returning women veterans and their dependents, including coping with post-traumatic stress disorder, sexual trauma, depression and addiction. The services include individual and group counseling, along with classes on topics such as parenting, budgeting and substance abuse prevention. A veteran peer navigator helps the women with ancillary needs such as housing and employment.
LEGAL SERVICES: The Tarrant County Bar Foundation (Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans — Tarrant County Chapter) has been awarded $10,000 to hold pro bono legal clinics focused on the specific needs of returning veterans and families, including family law (divorce/custody), criminal law (traffic tickets), and employment-related legal advice.
Tarrant County Veterans Diversion Court is receiving $60,000 for a program that diverts, from prosecution to treatment, non-violent offenders who are classified as still active duty or discharged returning veterans. The program offers 8 to 24 months of court-supervised treatment, in lieu of prosecution and a criminal record, for those charged with misdemeanors or low-level felonies.
INFORMATION AND REFERRAL: 2-1-1 Texas at United Way has been allocated $45,000 for a military information and referral specialist position filled by a veteran with a social work degree. The military I&R specialist assesses the needs of veterans and military families who call the 2-1-1 service and refers callers to the most appropriate services. The Veterans Fund also will underwrite the publication of an annual report documenting military families’ requests for services and unmet needs.
NAVIGATION AND CASE MANAGEMENT: The American Red Cross is receiving $50,000 for services that channel veterans and military families to sources of assistance. Clients speak with a trained volunteer navigator who assists in assessing and prioritizing needs and creating a plan. The navigator can set up appointments and in some cases assist with needs such as transportation or financial assistance to ensure basic needs are met in the meantime.
Veterans, thank you for your service!