About Us

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A publication by the National Association of Counties (NACo)

Putting the Community Back Into Community Reintegration

Vets' Community Connections (VCC) is a community-based initiative designed to involve a greater number of individuals in veteran reintegration efforts.

It provides individuals who want to do more than say "thanks for your service" the channel to use their own professional experience and expertise to respond to veteran and military family relocation and reintegration questions in a wide variety of fields: education, health, business, recreation, arts, community service and a host of other areas which collectively make up the communities in which we live.

Many veterans would prefer assistance, not in the form of charity, but with opportunity and connection to the greater community-- VCC aims to do just that.

”As a nation, we’ve learned to separate the warrior from the war. But we still have much to learn about how to connect the warrior to the citizen.”

General Martin Dempsey

Washington Post Op-Ed (7/3/13)

How It Works

Vets' Community Connections is community designed, led and implemented. The community works to establish:

- A Community Advisory Board: Composed of a broad spectrum of leaders in the community that will guide, support and spread awareness of this initiative. Assembled with the support and assistance of county and city elected leaders.

- A Community Veterans Team: To include community organizations and individuals who are willing to provide a human response to a veteran or military family question within their particular area of expertise.

- A Vet Connector(s): Receives the call from the veteran or family member and directs them to an appropriate member of the Community Veterans Team.

So as to not duplicate resources, the VCC initiative can be housed in a pre-existing veteran central point of contact. Examples can include a local veteran non profit, or a 2-1-1/3-1-1 service-- local entities where veterans are already likely to call, adding to the services they provide.

Establishing standards and metrics to making sure callers are getting the advice and information they need is key-- not only to local program success but to keep the community updated and abreast of community veteran/family needs.

At a national level, VCC works to integrate efforts, provide tools/resources and guidance, and assess and report on local efforts to identify trends in veteran needs.

Research

The San Diego Chamber of Commerce financed a study on behalf of ‘Vets’ Community Connections’ to examine how veterans and military family members could tap the experience of a greater number of community members to make reintegration easier. The results, available January 2015, overwhelmingly supported a role for the greater community in assisting veterans and their families transition from the military.

An executive summary with supporting data can be accessed here; the full report can be accessed here.

Key Findings:

There is clearly a role for the greater community in local veteran reintegration.

Veterans and military families want to tap a broader network of community experience/expertise to make transition easier.

People want personal connection and another online tool.

There is overwhelming support for a navigator service or 211-type concierge service that would connect them with individuals in the community.

San Diego County Vets' Community Connections

 

Connect | Participate | Empower

San Diego

We are looking for:

 
 

Community Members

willing to share their own professional expertise with a San Diego veteran/family members, or willing to support their reintegration questions or needs.

Organizations

willing to provide a discount to San Diego veterans and their families, or pursue hiring a veteran.


 

In partnership locally with:

  • sdrc
  • 2-1-1
  • SDC
  • seal
  • live well

St Joseph's County Vets' Community Connections

 

Connect | Participate | Empower

St Joseph

We are looking for:

 
 

Community Members

willing to share their own professional expertise with a local veteran/family members, or willing to support their reintegration questions or needs.

Organizations

willing to provide a discount to St Joseph County veterans and their families, or pursue hiring a veteran.

 

In partnership locally with:

  • 3-1-1
  • Seal
  • Seal 2

Maricopa County/Phoenix Vets' Community Connections

maricopa

The Advisory Board is in development and will kick off with their first meeting late fall 2015.

Learn More

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