YMCA and Vet Centers Host Veteran Outreach Event
YMCA of the USA and the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs has a Memorandum of Agreement to encourage Ys to work with local VA facilities. Through this partnership, a small pilot was conducted in 2019 that brought Mobile Veteran Centers to local YMCAs. Mobile Vet Centers are usually busses or vans that travel to areas where there might be a population of veterans but not a VA facility close by. It also provides mental health and other services to connect Veterans to benefits.
Vet Centers are community-based counseling centers that provide a wide range of social and psychological services, including professional readjustment counseling to eligible Veterans, active duty service members, including National Guard and Reserve components, and their families. Readjustment counseling is offered to make a successful transition from military to civilian life or after a traumatic event experienced in the military. Individual, group, marriage, and family counseling is offered in addition to referral and connection to other VA or community benefits and services. Vet Center counselors and outreach staff, many of whom are Veterans themselves, are experienced and prepared to discuss the tragedies of war, loss, grief, and transition after trauma.
Vet Centers offer counseling, referrals, and community engagement to help Veterans and their families build meaningful connections and develop tools for achieving success in both their military and civilian lives.
“Vet Centers provide Counseling, Referrals, and Community Engagement. We make sure you receive the services you need, if not through our Center, we connect you with who will,” says Greg Edens, MPA, Veterans Outreach Program Specialist, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
The City of Frederick Department of Housing and Human Services and Blessings in a Backpack will also be present at this event to offer assistance to Veterans and their families. The City of Frederick Department of Housing and Human Services (formerly known as the Frederick Community Action Agency) provides food, medical care, housing, and other forms of assistance to families and individuals that are low-income or homeless, thereby ameliorating the causes and effects of poverty.
According to the VA, the number of food-insecure veterans is high among those who served in the U.S. Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. These veterans are almost twice as likely to be food insecure compared to the general population.
The Veteran Outreach Event will take place on Friday, November 5 from 10 am to 3 pm at the Downtown Y, 1000 North Market Street, Frederick, Maryland.
To locate a Vet Center near you call 1-877-WAR VETS or visit www.vetcenter.va.gov
About the Y
The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,700 Y’s engage 21 million men, women, and children – regardless of age, income, or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but also to deliver, lasting personal and social change. www.frederickymca.org