Orange County Veterans Services Initiative

The Orange County Veterans Services Initiative (OCVSI) is a project of the Orange County Community Foundation that identifies the most pressing challenges facing returning veterans and leverages resources to meet those needs.

VeteransAs an increasing number of soldiers return home from the Global War on Terror, there is an amplified need to improve transitional services for the men and women who have served our country. Active duty soldiers are coming home with more physical and mental illnesses than in past wars and current government programs are not providing military personnel with the tools they need to successfully transition from military to civilian life. This lack of resources leads to depression, alarming suicide rates, unemployment, poverty and homelessness for local veterans, making it nearly impossible for them to integrate back into their former civilian lives.

OCVSI works to help returning soldiers overcome challenges and transition to civilian life through the following approach:

  • Establish a framework for a regional collaborative effort to provide ongoing financial and volunteer support to organizations serving the Orange County military community
  • Accomplish goals through a public/private partnership consisting of individual donors, companies, foundations, nonprofit organizations and the military
  • Address problems like unemployment and homelessness at their core by focusing on transitional services and job placement and supporting organizations providing services to veterans in these areas
  • Provide opportunities for a personal connection between donors and veterans Build a network of support around veterans in Orange County

Focus Areas

The Orange County Veterans Services Initiative of the Orange County Community Foundation currently focuses on the following areas of service to local veterans:

Transition

Local programs the OCVSI is working with to assist veterans transition from military to civilian life include:

Employment Support

Local programs the OCVSI is working with to help veterans gain employment and start and sustain their own businesses include:

  • Disabled Veterans Assistance Foundation
    • OCVSI Collaborative Grant:  In late 2011, DVAF was granted status as a Micro Lender Intermediary by the Small Business Administration to specifically serve veteran entrepreneurs.  Their goal is to support Veterans in business, grow the economy and contribute to making an impact in the unemployment rate with Veterans ultimately hiring other veterans.  The Micro-Lending Intermediary designation is an exciting development that will propel DVAF forward to expand the mission of supporting disabled veterans and their businesses. OCVSI donors came together with a grant of $37,500 which went into an interest bearing reserve account enabling DVAF to unlock $250,000 of their available $750,000 to begin making the loans.  Based on their average loan of $10,000, they will be supporting 25 disabled Veterans to start or expand their businesses.
    • Click here to view a video on the impact of a DVAF SBA loan.
  • Thank-a-Vet Career Management Workshop

Donate to the OCVSI Fund at the Orange County Community Foundation

Current Veterans Needs

Compiled below are articles and reports on the current needs of veterans in Orange County and throughout the country. Check back often for new findings and opportunities to support soldiers returned home.

Donate to the OCVSI Fund at the Orange County Community Foundation.

Other Ways to Support

Granting

Below are additional organizations providing effective services to local veterans that donors might consider making a grant to:

Volunteering 

Below are organizations providing services to veterans that are in need of volunteer support:

Operation Gratitude

Donate to the OCVSI Fund at the Orange County Community Foundation.

Upcoming Events

No upcoming events at this time