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New Initiative Brings Easier Access to Services for Upstate Veterans

Launching Oct. 5, NYServes Upstate will work to ensure that quality human services referrals are made to veterans throughout a 14-county region.

Formed through a partnership between Veterans Outreach Center and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF), NYServes Upstate is the second IVMF led public-private network in the Empire State. Joins a growing number of local affiliates across the country revolutionizing care for veterans, service members and their families.

ROCHESTER, NY (October 5, 2016) – Veterans Outreach Center (VOC) was selected by the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council (FLREDC) to develop a regional service approach in support of the Upstate Revitalization Initiative. VOC, in partnership with Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF), is launching NYServes Upstate. VOC has spent decades developing a vast array of community partners and an extensive network of providers. Now they will be able to leverage that hard work and all their community partners who have on-boarded will be able to connect with one another within a new interactive online network.

The NYServes Upstate network, through its coordination center housed in the Rochester-based VOC, will work to ensure that timely and accurate referrals are made throughout a 14-county region. The initiative utilizes a shared software platform that will allow the regional providers to make these referrals and track progress in one place. The software, training, implementation and the licenses were all provided at no cost to the Upstate community due to the generosity of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council and the Walmart Foundation.

Individuals looking for services can utilize the NYServes Upstate network three different ways:

  1. Calling the network’s toll-free number 1-855-459-VETS (8387) to speak with a qualified professional and secure a referral for services.
  2. Going online where requests can be made to the network directly via the local NYServes website at
  3. Visiting with one of the resource providers in the NYServes Upstate network residing in the following counties: Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming or Yates. There are plans to expand into the Syracuse region.

“This network will change the way we meet the needs of those who served locally and will raise Upstate New York’s efforts to a national platform as we join alongside other communities in the AmericaServes movement,” said Todd Baxter, executive director, VOC. “The mission statement of the VOC describes the fundamental purpose of why we exist– both for those in the organization and for the public: to provide comprehensive resources to current and former members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families through direct service, community collaboration and advocacy. Serving as the coordination center for NYServes Upstate will allow us to further that mission by providing a seamless service provider network across a broader region filling in the gaps.”

Retired Col. Jim McDonough, Managing Director of the IVMF, and a former Director of the New York State Division of Veterans’ Affairs, said “After years of ground work with highly dedicated partners we are proud to see this initiative in New York State grow to cover the Upstate New York region. We hope that more service providers across America come together to improve upon the navigation experiences of our veterans, service members and families who have provided our nation with the security and prosperity it enjoys on a daily basis.”

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Media Contacts:

IVMF Media Contact: Ilario Pantano, 910.616.9961, [email protected]

Veterans Outreach Media Contact: Matthew McGee, 585.295.7810 [email protected]

About The Veterans Outreach Center (VOC)
Veterans Outreach Center is an independent community-centered non-profit organization providing comprehensive resources to current and former members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families through direct service, community collaboration and advocacy. Our vision is to be the Nation’s best provider of community-centered supportive services for veteran families.

The no-cost supportive services we provide to veterans and their families include: case management and readjustment services, employment and job training services, housing search and placement, a 28-bed residential program supporting homeless veterans, certified alcohol and substance abuse counseling and referrals, accredited veteran benefits counseling, educational services counseling, art therapy, financial counseling, legal services and resources, peer-to-peer mentoring and more. Additional information is at

About Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF)
The IVMF is the first interdisciplinary national institute in higher education focused on the social, economic, education and policy issues impacting veterans and their families post service. Supported by a world-class advisory board and public and private partners committed to advancing the post-service lives of America’s service members, veterans and their families, the IVMF and its professional staff deliver class-leading programs in career, vocations, and entrepreneurship education and training. The IVMF also provides actionable and national impacting research, policy analysis and program evaluation; coordinates comprehensive collective impact strategies; and works with communities and non-profits to enhance service delivery for veterans and their families. Read more at

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