Each year on Memorial Day, we honor the men and women who died serving their country. At United Way, it’s also an opportunity to give back to those who walk among us, many of whom need our help.
Since the 2001 terrorist attacks, about 2.8 million men and women have served in the U.S. military. The unemployment rate among post-9/11 veterans age 18-24 is double the national average. PTSD occurs in 1 in 5 veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and an average of 22 veterans per day commit suicide. Combine those statistics with the hardships of re-acclimating to civilian life and it’s clear as day that we as a nation need to make it as easy as possible for veterans returning home.
United Way of Broward County’s military veteran initiative, MISSION UNITED, helps with the challenges veterans face after returning home from service by working with partners to align existing services and create solutions when there are gaps in support. Broward County veterans call 954-4UNITED and speak to an actual person who helps them get what they need from a variety of partners. The phone line is supported by Broward County 2-1-1, which receives funding from United Way.
Since its inception two years ago, MISSION UNITED has helped more than 2,000 veterans and their families find help with employment readiness, education, health, legal assistance, emergency financial aid and housing. We have served more than 450 veterans and their families with career resources including resume writing, interviewing skills and employment workshops and have partnered with more than 80 local employers who have committed to hire veterans. A Supportive Services Veterans for Families Homeless grant provided more than 350 low-income veteran families residing in or transitioning to permanent housing in Broward County.
Many veterans have a hard time knowing what comes next, and MISSION UNITED helps them get there. Right now MISSION UNITED is in Broward County, but looking to the future, our mission is to ensure that every veteran receives the services that he or she so deserves. If you know a veteran in need of help, please call 2-1-1. If you’d like to inquire about starting a MISSION UNITED program in your community, contact United Way of Broward County.