Niagara Gazette — Veterans in Western New York have a new "one-stop center" available to help them explore their health, education and employment options.
Local veterans gathered Monday to celebrate the opening of the new Veterans One-Stop Center on WNY. The new 10,000-square-foot facility is located at 1280 Main St. in Buffalo and will offer health, employment and education services, as well as financial counseling, legal assistance, benefits counseling and housing resources to area veterans. In addition, the center will be offering peer-to-peer counseling through Compeer’s Vet2Vet program.
“The services offered at this center will help veterans to successfully transition back into civilian life,” said Roger Woodworth, president & CEO of the Veterans One-Stop Center of WNY. “It’s been a long time coming and we’re excited to have the opportunity to give back to the men and women who have risked their lives in order for us to enjoy the comforts we have in this country.”
The VOC of WNY was created by a coalition of independent service providers led by the Western New York Veterans Housing Coalition and Goodwill Industries of WNY. It includes a welcoming reception area, community room for informal conversations and peer-to-peer discussions, space for confidential meetings with service providers, resource and training rooms as well as areas that are dedicated to group sessions.
Partners involved in the project included: Wounded Warrior Project; Buffalo Sabres Foundation; First Niagara Foundation; Robert J. and Martha B. Fierle Foundation; Collins & Collins, Attorneys LLC; Lake Shore MHC; and contributions from many individuals who want to help. The Center also received a $100,000/year challenge grant from the John R. Oishei Foundation that will match every $200,000 the Center raises annually with a $100,000 contribution. Officials said the Center is halfway to meeting the challenge for 2013 and is looking for additional supporters to help reach that goal.
The center will be open Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. initially but plan calls for occasional evening hours for special activities and events. For more information about the VOC, visit: http://vocwny.org/.