Addressing Veterans’ Needs During the COVID-19 Pandemic
April 28, 2020
The global coronavirus has brought uncertainty and anxiety into people’s lives, workplaces, and neighborhoods, particularly for those who work to improve the health of our communities.
During this difficult time, many organizations across New York State are working tirelessly to keep people safe, especially the most vulnerable. In response, NYHealth is supporting statewide and local efforts to address emerging health care and public health needs in the wake of the pandemic. In 2020, NYHealth awarded the NYC Veterans Alliance Foundation (the Alliance) a grant to address the needs of veterans and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under this grant, the Alliance served as a centralized, go-to resource for veterans, military members, and their family members in need of health care, mental health, housing, legal, and other services. Through expanded digital, phone, and social media outreach, the Alliance provided intake and assessment of veterans’ needs and connected them to related services. It also conducted routine phone and e-mail check-ins with veterans and family members who were isolated or had concerns for their health and well-being during the pandemic. During these check-ins, the Alliance provided peer support, information, referrals to other agencies and nonprofit services, assistance with government aid applications, and direct aid when possible. Additionally, the Alliance met the immediate needs of the veteran community by providing temporary housing, grocery and food delivery services, and household supplies.