Since 2012 IAVA’s Rapid Response Referral Program (RRRP) has served more than 8,700 veterans and their families and has provided more than 10,400 referrals linking clients to critical on the ground resources and support. RRRP creates a pathway for tangible help for veterans and their families, ensuring that they are able to live their lives to the fullest. Clients reach out to RRRP with a wide variety of needs ranging from seeking assistance resolving VA related benefits issues, employment support, accessing mental health and physical health care, and housing and homelessness challenges. In the second quarter (Q2) of 2018, which covers April, May and June, RRRP served 113 clients and made 204 referrals with financial assistance, employment, suicide and mental health, legal and VA disability claims rounding out the top five needs.
In Q2 financial hardship remained the most prevalent need among our clients and 45% of all referrals made involved emergency financial assistance. 90% of clients that reached out to RRRP for financial help needed additional support and resources to resolve issues directly contributing to their financial hardship, like disabilities, lack of employment or housing, and mental health or legal challenges. 59% of clients reaching out for financial assistance also reported being unemployed. 67% of clients who were suicidal or at-risk of suicide also sought financial assistance. And 76% of clients seeking financial assistance were veteran families with at least one child living in the home.
The pervasive financial struggles and needs of the veterans and families that reach out to RRRP highlights the critical importance of our program. One of the most effective aspects of RRRP is our ability to address client’s needs from a holistic lens and provide ongoing support. By gaining an understanding of underlying needs and a full picture of a client’s situation, we are able to provide comprehensive, unparalleled support, helping the veterans and families that we serve achieve more stable futures.