Grants expand veteran outreach efforts
The Nevada Department of Veterans Services has actively pursued and been awarded various federal grants in 2014 which are helping expand the department’s outreach efforts throughout the state.
Such grants are assisting in expanding transportation assistance in rural areas, facility expansion and veterans outreach programs.
“In applying for these Veterans Administration (VA) grants from the state level, we’re able to take advantage of funding programs to expand veteran services in various ways through the state,” said NDVS Director Kat Miller. “As Gov. (Brian) Sandoval has proclaimed 2014 the year of the veteran, applying for and winning these grants will continue to accomplish the Governor’s goal of making Nevada the friendliest state for veterans to live in.”
The department applied for and was awarded a capital improvements grant from the Veterans Administration in September for the Northern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery. The $700,000 grant will be used primarily to expand the cemetery’s columbaria.
“In applying for this grant, we were able to ensure we have adequate space to honor veterans for years to come,” Miller said.
Rural Nevada will also benefit from transportation grants the department has applied for this year. Elko and Winnemucca are each the focus of two grants through the VA’s Highly Rural Transportation Grants Program. Elko’s $50,000 grant was awarded in July and Winnemucca received the same grant support in September. Each grant will allow the NDVS to support transportation services through private suppliers to get veterans from rural areas to services in each location
Individual veteran support assistance is another focus for the NDVS. The department applied for and received funding to place four veteran advocates in Nevada through the AmeriCorps Vista Grant program. Two will be placed in Las Vegas and one each in Elko and Reno.
“Through this private organization’s support, we’ll be able to employ young veterans to assist our growing veteran population areas,” Miller said. “Their focus will be able to help facilitate and direct assistance in our department as well to community organizations. The grant not only expands our outreach to veterans, but employs young veterans coming to Nevada giving them the opportunity transition into the private sector.”
Disabled veterans are also benefiting from the department’s grant initiative. The VA Adaptive Sport Grant Program awarded the NDVS $52,500 to support Clark County in developing adaptive sports programs for local veterans. “This is a great VA program benefiting disabled veterans in southern Nevada,” Miller said. “As these veterans have sacrificed so much and their lives have been seriously altered, this funding will assist local organizers in keeping our veterans active through many different sports activities.”
With mission-focused employees, NDVS is responsible for the administration of two State Veterans Memorial Cemeteries, a State Veterans Home, and a State-wide Veterans Service Officer program. NDVS is instrumental in connecting Nevada’s veterans and their families with benefits and assistance from both the State and Federal government. For information, call (866) 630-VETS or visit http://www.veterans.nv.gov.