Buffalo, NY— The Veterans One-stop Center of Western New York, Inc., (“One-stop Center” or “VOC of WNY”) announced Tuesday that they will open a “one-stop” veterans advocacy and service center at 1280 Main Street in Buffalo in April.
The VOC of WNY is an independent, nonprofit collaborative, that will offer U.S. veterans, service members, and their families the convenience of a barrier-free “one-stop” location to access coordinated, individualized and integrated social, health, educational, economic, and supportive services. The “One-stop Center” will feature the comfort of a “home base” environment to welcome, affirm, and respond to each individual veteran’s specific needs. A variety of services will be provided by existing, independent providers working together in a coordinated, seamless way to provide programming to assist veterans and their families in developing wellness, successful achievement of their goals, realization of their full potential, and reintegration into the community. Services include accredited benefits counseling; employment resources & services; peer mentoring; readjustment, behavioral, and mental health counseling; legal services & veterans treatment court mentorship; financial counseling & coaching; education resources & services; and housing & emergency services. The VOC of WNY will be able to tailor all services to have a male, female or a family-specific focus.
“The One-stop Center, through innovative public and private partnerships, will use a collaborative approach to serve the entire veteran by linking the individual to community resources and providing an individually tailored , community-based plan designed to meet the specific needs of the veteran and their family, along the entire continuum of care,” Roger Woodworth, Chairman of the Board of Directors, said. “Together we work to complement the efforts of the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense, and along with state, county, and local resources we provide access to a full network of veteran’s services in an integrated, coordinated, and managed manner – from comprehensive outreach and intake, through case management and support services,” Woodworth added.
Thomas Lynch, Interim President & CEO of the One-stop Center, said “This initiative has been made possible through the generous support of the sustaining funding partners including – BlueCross BlueShield of WNY, the National Fuel Gas Company Foundation, and The John R. Oishei Foundation and founding funding partners including the Buffalo Sabres Foundation, the First Niagara Foundation, Wounded Warrior Project, The Robert J. and Martha B. Fierle Foundation, along with Collins and Collins Attorneys, LLC and several individual donors. We appreciate the support and encouragement we have received from these partners and look forward to opening the One-stop Center this spring.”
The “One-stop Center” is a collaboration of the Western New York Veterans Housing Coalition and Goodwill Industries of Western New York along with key service providers including Belmont Housing Resources of WNY; Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo; Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Buffalo, Inc.; Compeer; and Erie County’s Departments of Social Services, Mental Health, Veterans Services along with the full support of the Erie County Legislature. Additional partners continue to join the collaboration.
“We have always needed a ‘One-stop’ available to veterans for accessibility to services in the community in the same location. The services exist but are difficult to navigate and the creation of the “One-stop Center” solves this,” said Celia O’Brien, chief operating officer of the Veterans Housing Coalition. “We strongly support the VOC of WNY, as we know that the Center will be able to reach a multitude of veterans, service members and their families to provide a solution to the many challenges facing them.”
“Goodwill is proud to be a founding collaborator of the VOC of WNY initiative,” said Terrence Gilbride, Chairman of the Goodwill Board of Trustees. “Goodwill began assisting veterans returning from service in the 1930’s and continues to work in assisting them in overcoming the barriers the face as well as the successful transition to civilian life. We see the One-stop Center as a way to leverage our resources, along with the resources of all the One-stop Center Service Provider Partners, to increase our combined effectiveness so we can have an even more significant impact on the lives of those who have sacrificed to serve our country.”
The Veterans One-stop Center of WNY (“VOC of WNY”) has launched a website, Facebook page, and Twitter account that contain additional information and provide the opportunity to support the initiative. They can be found at www.vocwny.org, www.facebook.com/VOCofWNY, and on Twitter at @VOCofWNY.