Veterans of U.S. armed services and their families who are struggling in Suffolk County will now receive access to services such as financial planning, daycare and legal aid due a new county program that kicked off Tuesday.
Officials touted the new Services for Veteran Families program – backed by cash from U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs – as key to supporting these families of veterans who have found it difficult to find financial footing in Long Island's largest county, including those who are homeless.
The program, which began on Oct. 1, provides grants to nonprofits and other organizations that in turn offer services to the families, such as housing counseling, health care, transportation and daily living aid. They include the Economic Opportunity Council of Suffolk County, Services for the Underserved, Volunteers of America Greater New York Area and Black Veterans for Social Justice.
At the same time, several government programs will lend help to these veterans. For example, Suffolk County District Court will aid veterans going through the court system, while the New York State Department of Labor and the Suffolk County One-Stop Employment Center will offer job counseling and job training services. The Touro College Jacob D. Fuchberg Law Center in Central Islip will offer legal consul to these struggling veterans as well.
“We must continue to do all that we can to ensure those who have fought to protect our country have access to the resources they need to lead productive lives,” County Executive Steve Bellone said in a statement.
To be eligible, veterans must make less that 50 percent of the median income, which is $53,000 for a family of four. Veterans who were discharged dishonorably are not eligible.