Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center
Grant Awarded to VA for Community Resource and Referral Cent
The Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center hosted a press conferenceMonday, May 6, on the grant awarded to the VA for establishing a Community Resource and Referral Center for homeless Veterans in the lowcountry. The $528,000 grant will be used to open a one-stop service hub that will provide VA services and community support Veterans need to move forward in life.
The VA Community Resource and Referral Center is scheduled to open fall 2013 in the Rivers Avenue area of North Charleston. The facility, which is the result of VA’s partnership with Goodwill, will bring together services from across the community in a location closer to many of those in need.
Mr. Scott Isaacks, Acting Director of the VA Medical Center, said the Medical Center’s long-standing partnership with Goodwill, several area shelters, Legal Aid, numerous other community organizations, and support from the City of North Charleston are critical to the success of this effort.
Isaacks welcomed special guest Bob Smith, CEO of Goodwill.
“We’ve talked for years about providing Stand Down more than just two days a year,” said Smith. “The CRRC is going to do that and we are so excited to see this next phase of our partnership with the VA come to fruition.”
The CRRC will offer a range of services including, but not limited to, medical, mental health and psychosocial needs assessment, case management, Veterans Benefit Administration, job assistance, legal aid, food and showers. Another key service will be follow-up support services designed to maximize the chances that Veterans will maintain their housing and permanently leave behind their period of homelessness.
Mayor Keith Summey spoke at the event telling a story about a Veteran’s son who came with his father to Stand Down. The father thought his child possibly had a learning disability or Autism.
“By all of us working together, we discovered that this little boy was deaf,” said Summey. “His whole life has been changed because the VA, Goodwill and the City of North Charleston are committed to meeting the needs.”
Summey added that a community is only as strong as its weakest citizens.
“Working together, the VA and its partners can provide the help, the opportunity and the hope Veterans in the Lowcountry deserve,” said Isaacks.