Cincinnati, February 5, 2013
Lisa Doxsee, Easter Seals TriState
Today, Easter Seals TriState, in partnership with Dixon Center, hosted the first of four convening sessions for its Military & Veterans Initiative. Cincinnati leaders from military, business, education, non-profit and healthcare arenas gathered to map out critical services for area veterans, military service members, military families and the families of the fallen.
Funded by The Farmer Family Foundation and The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation, the community-wide initiative is working to identify existing programs and support services, as well as determine any gaps, especially in the areas of employment. Specifically, the group of more than 75 leaders addressed the critical services needed to support veterans on their path to obtaining and sustaining a job, including education, housing, health, wellness and mental health programs, and family resources. The next in the series of community convenings will take place May 7.
“We need to consolidate local efforts in communities and find synergies for the delivery of services or to services,” says COL David Sutherland, U.S. Army, Retired, and Executive Director, Dixon Center. “We as a society need to focus on enabling veterans’ potential, and not create more cookie cutter solutions. This is our mission at Dixon Center and approach here in Cincinnati.”
Today’s service members and veterans are making significant contributions to their communities but some face challenges during transition and reintegration -- whether physical wounds, isolation, or exasperating emotional and psychological wounds. They face unemployment, families that are not always intact, and communities unable to meet their immediate and long-term needs.
This local veterans’ initiative builds on the success of similar efforts throughout the country. It’s focused on developing and fostering community supports, engaging employment and workforce programs and establishing a Community OneSource hotline to provide one-on-one support to veterans and military families in the tri-state region.
“In Cincinnati, Easter Seals TriState is leading the way locally and nationally in how we help America’s bravest successfully return home and reintegrate into their families and communities,” says Pam Green, president and CEO, Easter Seals TriState. “This requires a community-wide and a community-specific approach. What works one place may not be the exact approach in another.”
Dixon Center for Military and Veterans Community Services is a national clearinghouse launched in 2012. The Center is a catalyst for the consolidation of the disparate efforts underway since 9/11 that provide services to veterans, military service members, and their families. We use a holistic approach that focuses on three areas: education, employment and access to healthcare. We endorse and disseminate practical, community-based solutions that maximize private and public dollars. Services include disseminating relevant information; convening meetings of corporate, philanthropic, nonprofit and military and veteran leaders; and advising funders on investments that facilitate real and lasting success in civilian, family and community life.
Dixon Center provides leadership to a nationwide network of support – consisting of tens of thousands of organizations - for the delivery of services, or to services. Its team is led by Executive Director David W. Sutherland, Colonel US-Army, Retired. Easter Seals is Dixon Center's 501(c) 3 sponsor and is also one of its myriad partners that provide support and direct services to veterans and military families. Easter Seals is supporting Dixon Center to emerge and deliver on its bold mission. Dixon Center’s work will not be done until veterans and our military families can thrive; where they live. Learn more at www.theDixonCenter.org.
Easter Seals has provided direct services to the military community since World War II. In 2005, recognizing the new and unmet needs of so many returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, the organization renewed its commitment to military families and veterans by establishing a Military and Veterans Initiative to address serious gaps in service and mobilize its national community-based provider network. Today, Easter Seals serves thousands of military families across its 73 affiliates, 550 nationwide service sites, 24,000 professional staff and 40,000 local volunteers.
Easter Seals is the leading non-profit provider of services for individuals with autism, developmental disabilities, physical disabilities and other special needs. For more than 90 years, we have been offering help and hope to children and adults living with disabilities, and to the families who love them. Through therapy, training, education and support services, Easter Seals creates life-changing solutions so that people with disabilities can live, learn, work and play. Visit www.easterseals.com.
Easter Seals TriState empowers people with disabilities and disadvantages to more fully live, learn, work and play in our communities. In July 2012, Easter Seals Work Resource Center and the publicly funded programs of Jewish Vocational Service combined to become Easter Seals TriState. This leading local nonprofit serves more than 15,000 individuals with disabilities and disadvantages each year in the tristate www.easterseals.com/swohio/.