January 7, 2009
Peake: VA Tapping the Power of Communities
“VA has a track record of success in working with non-profit groups and businesses that have their own programs for veterans, but we can do more” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. James B. Peake. “By tapping into the power and resources of NGOs, we can ensure more veterans, families and survivors receive not only VA services, but also other assistance in their own communities.”
Under the new NGO Gateway Initiative, launched today with the Veterans Coalition Inc., a non-profit organization formed more than two years ago by several major national veterans groups, the Veterans Coalition is available to assist NGOs in identifying the unmet needs of veterans, families and survivors, working with VA to help minimize duplication of effort and confusion among NGOs with programs for veterans. In addition, the program will encourage continuous feedback from NGOs on issues such as physical and mental health, employment, and satisfaction with government services and benefits affecting veterans.
“The Veterans Coalition is dedicated to marshalling energy and resources from all communities to better serve service members, veterans and their families”, said Harry Walters, chairman of the Veterans Coalition and former administrator of the Veterans Administration . “Together we can do a better job than any of us can do alone.”
VA will provide a senior-level, career federal employee to serve as an ombudsman to assist NGOs with their programs to serve veterans. To ensure a cooperative relationship, VA’s deputy secretary will serve as a non-voting advisory liaison to the group’s board of directors.
VA has a long tradition of working with national veterans service organizations on programs benefitting all veterans. VA also has had close relationships with private-sector groups, churches, charities and other non-profit organizations that provide housing for homeless veterans. This new gateway initiative is one more way to extend services to our veterans.
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Veterans Coalition, Geoff Deutsch, (703) 408-0122
VA, Laurie Tranter, (202) 461-7600
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