February 1, 2012
Communities across the U.S. are grappling with veterans' reintegration issues, but the answers about how best to serve veterans and their families may be elusive, because every region has different resources, service gaps, and needs. Despite these variations, a common core of key community-based supportive services and practices has been identified in order to help communities serve their veterans and families in a more consistent and professional manner. So what can a community do to help? How would service providers, local leaders, and citizens begin to organize their community's resources to support veterans and families effectively? What would that look like? How would it be paid for? Has it been done well in other communities?This blueprint answers these questions as a combination "how-to manual" and toolkit with an inside look at how an existing Center operates. This document provides a blueprint of "what works" to help communities identify and implement the programs their local communities need. The details in this blueprint leverage the knowledge of Veterans Outreach Center (VOC) in Rochester, NY, the oldest community-based nonprofit organization in the nation devoted exclusively to serving veterans and their families. The information in this blueprint will help communities get a jump-start on developing local programs and initiatives of their own. Ultimately, these tools will help increase access to consistently high-quality community-based supportive services for veterans and their families.