This week we have the pleasure of awarding $900,000 in new Call of Duty Endowment funding to three of our Seal of Distinction winners, each headquartered in Los Angeles. The Weingart Center, U.S. Vets and the Salvation Army Haven have created unusual value in placing vets into quality jobs. With the help of our 2014 grants, these organizations can broaden their reach and improve their practices to serve still more veterans.
The Weingart Center, which received a $100,000 grant for 2014, brings veterans employment assistance to one of the nation’s most challenging populations: downtown Los Angeles’ Skid Row. Working with a veteran population that faces serious impediments to stable, civilian life, The Weingart Center empowers veterans to find employment, combat poverty and break the cycle of homelessness. Despite the tremendous challenges of this population, The Weingart Center aids these veterans with marked financial efficiency.
U.S. VETS, which received a $500,000 grant for 2014, sustains a remarkable retention and placement track record working with a population of largely homeless veterans. Many of these homeless veterans live in U.S. VETS’ residential facilities while participating in workforce programs, developing self-sufficiency and learning life skills. Moving forward, U.S. VETS plans to tap into more job opportunities by actively cultivating relationship with more than 300 local employers in growth industries. The organization also works to foster partnerships with local nonprofits and to coordinate with local colleges to identify un- and under-employed veterans.
Salvation Army HAVEN, which received a $300,000 grant for 2014, uses a headhunter-like mentality to serves homeless veterans, or those at risk for homelessness. Many of these veterans face additional barriers such as disabilities, substance abuse and legal impediments to employment. The program uses in-depth case management, career coaching and placement assistance, as well as recruitment and liaising with employers. But more than simply finding veterans a paycheck, Haven matches veterans’ skills and experience with targeted job opportunities.
These three organizations help improve the employment outlook, and the quality of life, for hundreds of veterans in the greater Los Angeles area. I can’t wait to see their efforts expand in 2014.