Veterans Count, the philanthropic arm of Easterseals Military & Veterans Services (MVS), provides critical and timely financial assistance and services when no other resource is available to service members, veterans and their families, to ensure their dignity, health and overall well-being.
We continue to ensure that 90% of net dollars raised for Veterans Count is spent to provide services and grow resources for NH service members, veterans and their families.
It Began with this Question: “How Can We Help Service Members and Their Families?”
Veterans Count was developed in 2007 as a result of Easterseals’ Board Member Mike Salter’s desire to bring comprehensive, emergency aid to active military and their families whose quality of life was significantly impacted by deployment to war zones.
At the time, Easterseals approached the NH Joint Force Headquarters and the NH Department of Health and Human Services for assistance in designing what their vision was: a compassionate, responsive, highly-targeted care program for service members and their families who were “falling through the cracks,” as a result of service to their country.
Easterseals developed a Care Coordination model centered on highly-skilled clinicians meeting one-on-one with service members and their families to address critical issues while building trust and working toward developing long-term self-sufficiency. Care Coordinators met the immediate presenting needs such as food, shelter, transportation and mental health intervention. Once a trusting relationship was established, Care Coordinators were then able to address deeper issues such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, sustainable employment, and long-term housing.
Due to the success of the program, and changes in government funding, in 2012, Military & Veterans Services (MVS) expanded services to include both pre-911 and post-911 service members, veterans and their families. Critical to the services provided by Care Coordinators were the philanthropic funds which directly address emergency needs while providing a conduit for Care Coordinators to assist service members and veterans with more chronic and entrenched challenges.
As MVS began to execute its mission, it became clear that more community assistance/fundraising was needed to provide adequate support. Federal and state grants provided for the training and services of Care Coordinators. Yet the need for additional funding for basic necessities such as food, clothing, housing, etc. was apparent. A task force comprised of business leaders was developed and Veterans Count was formed.
Fast forward to the present, and what began as a small committee centralized in Manchester, NH, has grown to five chapters located throughout the state—Manchester (2007), Nashua (2012), the Seacoast (2012), the Lakes Region (2014), and most recently the Upper Valley (2018), as well as an Executive Committee. Together, there are more than 80 chapter members who help raise funds and spread awareness for MVS.
Veterans Count and Easterseals have received the highest praise and support from our national and local elected officials and are viewed as a comprehensive and successful model to emulate throughout the country. As the landscape of our military and post deployment culture continues to shift, so too will Veterans Count and MVS, in order to continue providing the resources and services needed to provide a hand up to those in need.
Since inception, more than 18,600 individuals have been served. Philanthropic dollars, totaling more than $4.5 million, have been distributed to provide financial support that may include food, utilities, housing, transportation, fuel, and vehicle repair.
Significant Outcomes to Date as of February 2021
- 7,905 service members, veterans and their families (18,660 individuals) have been served
- Care Coordinators have intervened in 124 cases of significant suicide risk
- Homelessness has been prevented for 1,652 families at risk of foreclosure or eviction, and an additional 1,170 families have received Care Coordination services that addressed housing stability
- 2,563 individuals were successfully engaged in treatment for mental health or adjustment problems
- 26,730 referrals have been made to community and military resources
- 1,397 program participants have obtained employment
Emergency financial assistance provided by Easterseals Military & Veterans Services through Veterans Count for February 2021:
- $3,517 was spent on transportation or car repairs
- $400 was spent on food and/or grocery gift cards
- $4,991 was spent on rent payments to landlords to prevent eviction
- $4,700 was spent on utilities such as electricity, heating fuel, water, phone, sewer, etc.
- $1,779 was spent on other miscellaneous expenses
- $15,387 is the total emergency financial assistance released to NH service members, veterans and their families
To learn more please contact us.