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Organization Serves Local, State Veterans

By Emily Sussman, Paraglide

NCServes is a state affiliate of AmericaServes, which was developed by the Institute for Veterans and Military Families.

The idea behind the creation of this network was to allow the community to bring collaboration to the next level and coordinate when seeking to help veterans.

AmericaServes’ goal is to bring a more comprehensive and navigable set of resources to service members, veterans and their Families, according to their website.

The resources available to service members, veterans and their Families are extensive and include 40,000 service providers. The sheer number and complexity of available resources has been cited by a Google study as the number one obstacle to veterans accessing the help and assistance they are qualified to receive.

Veterans who utilize the NCServes network are connected to the help they need in an average of four days with a 71 percent rate of successful outcomes out of 10,000 served.

North Carolina is counted among one of 10 states with the highest veteran population, and according to NCServes representatives, the network now assists 65 percent of those veterans.

One of those 10,000 is Army veteran Brandon Simmons.

Simmons recently lost his job while caring for his mother who was ill in the hospital.

“I was just trying to stay afloat … I didn’t really have any options as far as finding a job … places weren’t hiring … I had never been this long without a job. It is something that was hard for me. I am used to working,” explained Simmons.

Later, Simmons’ mother passed away and while dealing with loss and searching for a job he began to worry about where he would live.

“It got to a point, I didn’t know where my help was going to come from,” he said.

That help came from NCServes.

NCServes sought to help him find a job and helped him to pay his rent.

“They always made me feel welcome. They always made me feel like, just respect … No drama. Everything was simple. It was just everything I needed at the time,” said Simmons.

NCServes is unique in that it triages all referrals to appropriate providers who are able to assist each veteran, said Jerrick Vernon, coastal program coordinator, NCServes.

With one application, a veteran can be entered into a network of providers.

“That would have been a process that would have taken them four or five different calls,” said Vernon.

The system also allows providers to check back and see what help has been offered to the applicant.

“It is complete visibility to make sure that person gets help,” explained Vernon.

NCServes brings services and programs to veterans and their Families under one umbrella.

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