Veterans Help Program struggles for funds
County Director Pat Ryan joins New York State officers in calling for funding for the Joseph P. Dwyer Veterans Peer Help Undertaking to be turned over to veterans organizations.
The Joseph P. Dwyer Veterans Peer Help Undertaking is a peer-to-peer program for veterans with post-traumatic stress dysfunction (PTSD) and head trauma (TBI). The mission is known as after Joseph P. Dwyer, a US Military medic within the Iraq Struggle, who died in 2008 on account of struggles with PTSD.
“The Dwyer Veterans Peer Help Undertaking is a crucial program that saves lives,” mentioned Ryan. “At the moment, I name on New York State to fund this program instantly as a result of we can’t wait any longer. Even earlier than the pandemic, we have been already within the midst of a suicide epidemic. As a veteran it is deeply private and every single day we do not take motion is one too many days.
The mission started in 2012 as a part of a partnership with the Suffolk County United Veterans Program and the Suffolk County Veteran Providers Company.
About 20 veterans kill themselves every single day, and veterans are 1.5 occasions extra prone to die from suicide than Individuals who didn’t serve.
The mission of this system is to: “[support] veterans who expertise post-traumatic stress and different psychological accidents that result in suicide and drug dependancy. He trains veterans to speak to one another for the aim of offering non-clinical assist. This manner they’ll speak to individuals who have been by means of issues much like them.
The Hudson Valley Middle for Veteran Reintegration (HVCVR) is situated at 320 Enterprise Drive in Kingston and hosts the Vet2vet program, which makes an attempt to deal with the each day challenges confronted by veterans, who will function peer specialists and host group conferences. and one-on-one with others searching for assist.
Schedules and assembly dates for 2021 will embody yoga and peer assist teams, however dates are but to be decided.
Occasions will embody: Stroll-A-Mile in My Footwear which can happen in August, in addition to a 56-mile stroll from Kingston to Albany by veterans that may final over 22 hours.
“Veteran friends attempt to take away stigma and labels by advocating, supporting and offering a connection that empowers one another,” in keeping with the HVCVR web site. “Veteran friends take part in persevering with training and search to establish greatest practices to satisfy the wants of every veteran served.”
Certainly one of 26 Dwyer Veteran Peer Help tasks run by the county, the Hudson Valley Middle for Veteran Reintegration owes a cumulative quantity of $ 300,000 in keeping with Ryan’s press launch. This contains final yr’s charges and this yr’s allowances which have but to be obtained.
The Cuomo authorities’s government finances proposal for 2021-22 didn’t embody funding for the Dwyer program, in comparison with final yr’s 2020-2021 finances, which offered about $ 4.5 million.
“Our applications across the Hudson Valley and throughout New York State have been operating on zero finances for over a yr now,” mentioned Hudson Valley Middle for Veteran Reintegration Govt Director Kevin Keaveny.
Senator Fred Akshar and different members of the Senate Republican Convention wrote a letter on January 14, addressing Senator John Brooks, chairman of the Standing Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, Homeland Safety and Navy Affairs to unblock funding for the Joseph P. Dwyer Peer Help Undertaking.
“The Senate Minorities Convention is writing to you immediately to induce the Senate majority to instantly take the required steps to make obtainable the $ 4,505,000 allotted within the 2020-2021 state finances,” the report reads. letter.
“Since we first obtained these companies for our neighborhood, [the] The Joseph P. Dwyer program has been there for 1000’s of our native veterans throughout the southern degree and past, ”mentioned Senator Fred Akshar. “Through the present COVID-19 disaster, this funding has helped tackle ex-combatant meals insecurity, homelessness, lack of social engagement and the necessity for profession service assist. New York should hold its guarantees to veterans in our neighborhood and throughout our state. They’ve lived as much as their dedication to our nation, New York should stay as much as their dedication to them.
“As a veteran, I absolutely perceive the distinction the companies offered by the Joseph P. Dwyer program could make within the lives of our struggling veterans. The necessity for these critically essential companies has solely been magnified by the COVID-19 pandemic, and I urge my colleagues within the majority to take the required steps to make sure that these funds are launched as quickly as potential, ”mentioned Republican Senate Chief Rob Ortt. .
This pilot program will quickly function a nationwide mannequin for veterans help.
The HVCVR is presently on the lookout for volunteers and peer mentors; If you’re , a volunteer software may be discovered at www.hvcvr.org/volunteer.
A Change.org petition was additionally created to “present our leaders that their constituents consider in this system.” This may permit them to unlock the funds and be certain that the funds are now not thought of discretionary, ”wrote Kevin Keaveny, the creator of the petition. The petition is addressed to Governor Cuomo and was signed by 644 individuals as of March 4.