Trinity Wall Street awards $250,000 grant to expand veterans services

December 10, 2012

[Trinity Wall Street] Trinity Wall Street Dec. 10 announced the award of a $250,000 grant to the Robin Hood foundation to expand veterans-specific services. Counselors dedicated to providing veterans assistance will be added to six locations in Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn and Staten Island.

Many returning servicemen and women are struggling to re-adjust to civilian life, grappling with post traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse issues, domestic violence and mounting debt, and find it difficult to seek help. A significant barrier to helping veterans is connecting them with existing services and benefits: many are unaware, afraid to appear vulnerable or just cannot navigate the application process on their own. Only 50 percent of returning Afghan and Iraq war veterans even register with the Veterans Administration.

This grant will expand the capacity of existing Single Stop centers that provide an easy point of access to government benefits. By funding three caseworkers, over 18 months the goal is to serve 1,800 veterans and recover more than $5 million in additional benefits in housing, employment, education and medical care for them.

“New Yorkers have answered the call of duty for as long as Trinity Wall Street has been in Lower Manhattan,” said the Rev. Dr. James H. Cooper, rector of Trinity Wall Street. “Trinity is committed to helping today’s military connect with the services they need as civilians and the benefits they earned in service to our country.”

Currently, 18,000 New York City residents have served in Afghanistan or Iraq; of that approximately 10 percent are homeless. The local unemployment rate for veterans is 13 percent — twice the city average — and 25 percent of those employed make less than $20,000 a year

Robin Hood will coordinate outreach, benefit connections, and referrals to veterans through its Single Stop centers, working with the group “Mission Continues” and with the Mayor’s Office of Veterans Affairs. This strategy seeks to surmount the issues of connection and cultural competency that have frustrated veterans’ services in the past.

“Robin Hood is thrilled to partner with Trinity Church on this important initiative to serve veterans,” said Steven Lee, managing director at Robin Hood. “Too often our veterans don’t know how to access the myriad of benefits available to them or how to successfully navigate the application process. It’s the reason why half of all veterans eligible for benefits don’t receive them. Through Trinity Church’s benevolence, we’ll improve the odds by placing specialized accredited veteran’s benefits counselors onsite at multiple city-managed locations who will advocate on behalf of the veteran, thus speeding up the claims process and reducing frustration for many veterans.”

The Robin Hood Foundation has committed to supporting veterans as part of its mission to combat poverty in New York City. To date, the foundation has raised $13 million to fund initiatives focusing on housing, employment, and mental health for servicemen and women.

Trinity Grants has provided $80 million in funding to 85 countries and throughout metropolitan New York since 1972.

About The Trinity Grants Program

The Trinity Grants Program is part of Trinity Wall Street’s Faith in Action Ministries, which support congregation, staff, and partners around the world in living their faith as a way of life for the transformation and reconciliation of the world. The Grants Program provides funding within four key areas: being a vital presence in Lower Manhattan; advocating for children in communities and public schools; engaging communities emerging from conflict; and strengthening the Anglican Communion. Other Faith in Action ministries include a twice-weekly brown bag lunch feeding program for people in need in Lower Manhattan, mission relationships with New Orleans and Panama, and the Charlotte’s Place neighborhood center in Lower Manhattan.

About Robin Hood

Since 1988, Robin Hood has held steadfast to a single mission: fight poverty in New York City. We find, fund and create programs and schools that generate meaningful results for families in New York’s poorest neighborhoods. We work closely with more than 200 organizations to help them reach their full potential and perform rigorous assessments to ensure accountability. In addition, Robin Hood’s board of directors pays all administrative, fundraising and evaluation costs, so 100% of every donation goes directly to organizations helping New Yorkers in need.

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