Pursuant to its mission to Create Pathways Out of Poverty for all Angelenos by ending homelessness, increasing the graduation rate and promoting financial stability, United Way announced today the official release of its inaugural report on the state of military veterans in L.A. County entitled, “Helping Our Heroes: Creating Pathways to Veteran Employment.”
Aside from examining the unique challenges that post-9/11 veterans face, the report also surveys the local veteran services landscape and offers recommendations on how the community can best fulfill the economic, employment and wellness needs of our servicemen and women as they return home from duty.
At approximately 328,000 and counting, Los Angeles is home to the largest veteran population in the country – but more than 9,000 of these individuals are currently homeless.
According to Elise Buik, President and CEO of United Way of Greater L.A., “nearly 25,000 men and women who have served our country will be returning home to L.A. County in the coming years and our region is woefully unprepared to ensure their smooth transition into civilian life.”
“Given the current state of veteran services, thousands will be unemployed and at risk of poverty or even homelessness, which is why United Way has set a goal to cut post-9/11 veteran unemployment in half by 2017 with a four-pronged strategy that requires a cohesive partnership across all sectors to create a pathway to gainful employment and economic security.”
United Way’s action plan will:
- Engage the business community as a key partner;
- Convene stakeholders to create and implement a comprehensive service model;
- Grow the capacity of nonprofit organizations offering employment services to veterans; and
- Advocate for local data collection that will drive these efforts.
Read the Veterans’ Report Press Release