New Syracuse Program to Help Veterans & Families Connect with Education, Housing, Job, Health Assistance
Syracuse-area veterans can get a helping hand with services they might need thanks to a new program that launched Wednesday. ‘Syracuse Serves’ was announced by Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families to help fill gaps in employment, education, mental health, housing or other needs. The program is already in place in Pittsburgh. Army veteran Megan Andros helped get it going to make sure the help sought by a military family or individual actually came through.
“There has to be a way to make certain when a person calls for legal assistance or request to know the person actually meets with a lawyer. Or when they are looking for a job, that they actually get to that training.”
Andros now works with the Heinz Foundation helping to fund the program. The Syracuse collaboration can draw on the experiences of 17 other cities that have done it, from New York City to Dallas to Seattle. SU Vice Chancellor Mike Haynie knows there are already organizations providing help to veterans.
“Our team has contacted and identified and engaged with more than 100 local organizations that are right now, or can in the future, serve the social, economic, wellness needs of veterans. The challenge is to engage and sometimes compromise self-interest, always prioritizing the best interest of a veteran in need.”
Research at the IVMF has found navigating assistance programs and services is the biggest challenge for veterans coming back to civilian life – more than financial issues, health, or finding employment. Haynie says Syracuse Serves seeks to help through collaboration and access, all the way to accountability. Military families can find out more at IVMF.Syracuse.EDU