Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced a combined $300,000 U.S. Department of Labor grant for the Veterans Outreach Center in Rochester. The center, which provides transitional housing, mental health services, educational and vocational training programs, and other supportive services for veterans and their families, will use these funds towards their mission to enable local veterans to find meaningful employment in the region. Established in 1973, the Veterans Outreach Center is the oldest of its kind, and successfully places 3 of 4 veterans in meaningful employment. Schumer commends the Department of Labor, as this award provides our heroes who have fallen on hard times with the helping hand they need to find jobs and get their lives back on track.
"With this funding, Rochester vets who have fallen on hard times can get what they need to get back on track," said Schumer. "By helping connect homeless veterans with local employers and transitional housing, this program at the Veterans Outreach Center will help make sure that our veterans, who have sacrificed so much for our country, are not left behind."
"The Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program grant offers the Veterans Outreach Center the opportunity to use and expand its extensive portfolio of supportive services to help more than 200 homeless vets each year with housing, case management, occupational training and job placement," said Veterans' Outreach Center Vice President, Peter Blind. "HVRP will help VOC's staff and collaborative partners maintain its 12 year track record as a national best practice model in developing innovative and creative strategies to help our homeless vets."
The Veterans Outreach Center offers transitional housing, mental health services, educational and vocational training programs, and other supportive services for veterans and their families; and provides referrals to community resources for substance abuse treatment, domestic violence issues, post-traumatic stress disorders, parenting skills, and other personal development and empowerment programs.
In addition to serving homeless veterans, the VOC is a national leader in providing job training and placement services to hundreds of vets through the US Department of Labor's Veterans Workforce Investment Program (VWIP). Last month, in response to DOL plans to end VWIP funding Schumer visited the Veterans Outreach Center urging the Administration not to end its support for the center, and the U.S. Department of Labor heeded that call shortly after and announced the availability of approximately $12 million in competitively awarded grants through the Veterans' Workforce Investment Program (VWIP) to provide job training and skills development services to help Veterans succeed in civilian careers. The department will award at least 10 grants in 10 states to support approximately 6,000 Veterans overcome employment barriers and ease their transition into unsubsidized jobs. Schumer is calling on the Department of Labor to select the VOC as a recipient of one of these grants, which would be awarded later this summer and would prevent any interruption in VOC's veteran job training and placement programs.
The grant announced today is part of the U.S. Department of Labor's Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP) that gave over $28 million to programs providing job training to veterans to help them lead successfully civilian careers. Grantees under the HVRP program coordinate their efforts with various local, state and federal social service providers. More information on the Department of Labor's unemployment and re-employment programs for veterans can be found at www.dol.gov/vets.