A month into 2015, and entering the third year of the program, IAVA’s RRRP team is off to a strong start. In the past week, we have averaged 14 requests for support per day, resulting in 46 new cases for the week. The top five areas where veterans are seeking support this new year, so far, are financial, housing, employment, community, and education assistance.
Financial and housing needs are almost always intertwined. To paint a picture, at the end of 2013 there were approximately 3,547 homeless veterans, just in New York (source: National Alliance to End Veteran Homelessness, 2014). The focus on homeless services for veterans in New York City at the current time is on the chronically homeless, so services for the nearly homeless (those facing eviction, sleeping on couches) are hard to come by and prevention money is just not there. This requires to RRRP team to get creative, referring to public benefits or to other organizations that provide emergency financial assistance.
No matter the obstacle, RRRP continues to fight for the veteran community. To date we have helped 3,433 veterans and family members with transition-related issues through 4,988 referrals to quality programs.
Veterans and family members who use RRRP report high levels of stress when they first reach out to us – averaging 4.35 on a 1-5 scale in which 5 is the highest level of stress. After using RRRP’s services, clients report a decrease in their stress level of one point – about 20 percent. That decrease may be in part thanks to the outstanding service provided by RRRP’s team of Veteran Transition Managers (4.5 out of 5 average rating) and the quality of the programs to which we’re referring (4.1 out of 5 average rating).
As a recent client said to RRRP team member Julienne Williams: “Julienne Williams provides OUTSTANDING services, her customer service is by far the best support I’ve received in quite sometime. Thank You Julienne, in a short matter of time you’ve helped me so much and I’m truly grateful.”
Veterans and family members needing transition assistance can call 1-855-91-RAPID or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Everything is free, confidential, and paperwork-free.