Santander Bank Enables S:US to Support More Veterans
Photo credit: S:US
Thank you to Santander Bank for supporting S:US Veterans Services! This grant will support recently returning veterans, including those who are experiencing homelessness; unemployment; medical, psychiatric, and substance use disorders; and are disconnected from family and other social supports.
S:US Veterans Services provides job training, placement, and comprehensive supportive services aimed at long-term income stability for veterans. Last year, we helped connect more than 200 veterans to training, certifications and degree granting programs to support career placement. S:US Employment Specialists provided individualized career counseling to help veterans translate their military skills to civilian employment, guiding participants to the high-quality educational and training opportunities they need to be competitive in the New York marketplace. Our cross-functional team supports each veteran’s job search, eventual placement, and employment retention services. We continue to work with many veterans long after they secure employment by providing additional supports to ensure long-term success.
The funding from Santander Bank will enable S:US to help veterans obtain certifications and/or complete training programs, secure job interviews, receive SNAP assistance and cash benefits, buy appropriate interview and work attire, enter long-term employment in their chosen industry, receive housing assistance, and secure permanent, stable housing.
Each year, S:US Veterans Services works with nearly 3,000 veterans and their families living in all five boroughs, and Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island, the majority live in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx. Of the veterans we work with, 90% are homeless; 60% live with co-occurring chronic mental illness, substance use disorders, and/or serious health conditions; and 30% have a history of involvement with the criminal justice system. Nearly all qualify as “extremely-low income” per federal guidelines. Outside of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, S:US is one of the largest veterans services providers in New York City.
S:US also works with veterans who have exhausted their Post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits and continue to face income instability, limited job options, and other barriers to sustainable employment. We were quick to adapt to the new challenges and needs posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our services quickly transitioned to remote and continue to provide support via phone and videoconferencing. Our Employment Specialists helped employed veterans maintain job stability and worked with others who lost employment due to shutdowns, and connected them to new jobs. The grant from Santander Bank will help fill this gap by providing support for workforce development (e.g., vocational training, certifications, licensing, and credentialing) activities that help veterans further their education, secure employment, and become more economically self-sustainable.