To all my fellow veterans, thank you. Thank you for raising your hand to commit to serving your country in whatever capacity required of you.
Most of the time, veterans leave their time in service with a desire to give their time and energy to serving other people. This month’s issue contains stories of extraordinary people that want just to keep helping!
Sometimes people experience financial hardship and need help. Just because someone is a veteran, it doesn’t make us immune to this issue.
Veterans In 2019, the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (MVAA) worked with legislators to pass the Community Veterans Service Fund grant statute that provides each county with a $50,000 base grant and additional funds based on the veterans per capita.
Counties that apply can use the funding for anything to further assist or reach out to veterans. Some counties have used the budget for things like hiring more staff, purchase transportation for veterans, expand technology in their office, offer new services, Meijer grocery vouchers, and expand financial assistance dollars for veterans in need. These are just a few examples.
With that said, the MVAA CVSF is not the only funding mechanism in assisting veterans experiencing a financial crisis. The Michigan Veterans Trust Fund (MVTF) is available for wartime veterans experiencing an unforeseen emergent situation. The MVTF fund is currently over $61 million and is used solely for assisting veterans. The MVTF has assisted with larger emergencies like roof repair, car repairs, dental work, furnace replacement, etc.
Most local county Department of Veterans Affairs also has funding to assist veterans with emergencies. Usually, county funding is set aside for smaller emergencies like a utility bill, propane, rent, gas card, work boots, etc.
All these funding sources have an application process that could consider income, expenses and household members.
If you or a veteran you know needs assistance, please have them check with their county office for further details.
Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas. If you are alone this holiday season, please reach out to your fellow brothers and sister in arms for the community and connection we all need! If you know of a veteran living alone, please, call, visit, or just drop them a quick note to let them know you care.