Orange County Veterans Initiative
The Orange County Community Foundation is committed to embracing service members and integrating them back into civilian life through its Orange County Veterans Initiative (OCVI). The program was launched in 2011 and then expanded in 2015 based on new findings from The State of the American Veteran: The Orange County Veterans Study. The first-ever comprehensive report on the needs of local veterans, it confirmed that many servicemen and women coming home to Orange County are significantly underprepared for civilian life. In particular, post 9-11 veterans experience significant challenges ranging from not knowing where to find services, to lacking secure employment, to unmet physical and mental health needs.
OCVI aligns donors, businesses and community leaders to focus on three critical areas of need:
- Transitioning to civilian life
- Employment readiness and job skills
- Health services, with an emphasis on mental health needs
In October 2015, with support from our generous donors, OCCF delivered $500,000 to seven nonprofits to support programs that provide a focused approach for transitioning veterans and their families.
The initiative's key goal is to improve critical and fundamental services so that veterans:
- Know where to go in Orange County to get the services they need
- Develop trusting relationships with community providers
- Are connecting early and proactively to services they and their families need
- Obtain employment in career-oriented opportunities and positions
The funding allows high-performing nonprofit veteran service organizations to build their capacity to serve a broader audience.
To learn more about OCVI or to get involved, contact Carol Ferguson, senior donor relations and programs officer.