Help us support our military Veterans during this time of need.
Some 200,000 military members separate from the military every year. Each one of these soon-to-be former soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines face a unique set of circumstances that will affect the rest of their lives.
While federal and state agencies offer a number of services for Veterans, the volume of separating military members and their individual needs can be overwhelming for a number of reasons. Each individual’s outlook can be shaped by any number of factors, all dependent on their current financial situation, dependents, future plans, social support structure, destination communities, and mental health, just to name a few.
While preparing for civilian life, Veterans are connected to resources that will help them track their progress. Veterans can feel and see the positive progress they make through the most important time in their lives.
America’s 21 million Veterans are not just leaving a job, they’re leaving a way of life. The military is an extended family who provides housing, food, clothing, and a steady paycheck. In a single day, Veterans are cut off from the material support of the armed forces as well as the men and women with whom they served for years on end.
To compound matters further, Veterans attempting to reintegrate into civilian life are likely going into the classroom or the job market for the first time. They often have little to no skills or experience outside of their military specialty to contribute to their new communities.
Many find themselves alone and forced to fend for themselves in an unfamiliar world.
On top of this, many Veterans suffer from physical and mental health issues as a result of their service. When left without assistance, this population is vulnerable to substance abuse, homelessness, and suicide.
When given the knowledge and the tools they need to build a new post-military life, however, Veterans are more likely to have a college degree, get promoted at work, and start and run their own business. They are also most likely to participate in their local community and engage with the people in those communities to affect positive changes where needed. Most importantly to their own community, Veterans are more likely to hire and help their fellow veterans.
That’s where the mission outlined by the nonprofit Strategic Alliance for Veteran Integration (SAVI) comes in. SAVI’s program is 100 percent free for Veterans and includes four different tracks to ensure every one of our beneficiaries’ needs are met. Whether their immediate goal is education, employment, starting their own business, or simply retiring, SAVI has a program designed and proven to succeed.
SAVI is successful because it’s an organization that understands the needs of Veteran who know how critical separating from the military can be. Founder Adrianne Phillips is herself an Air Force veterans who almost found herself homeless during her own transition. This is an organization that recognizes how easily a veteran can end up being a statistic. Our proven system keeps veterans in homes and in jobs.
Before the economic downturn, the funding for SAVI’s overhead costs came from the personal business of SAVI’s founder and chairperson. This ensures that all external donations go directly towards Veterans in the SAVI program, which has earned us the GuideStar Gold Seal of Transparency.
In the days and weeks since, her company, like many others, was severely impacted and can no longer provide these funds. Other major sponsors may have to stop their generous donations as well.
This means that SAVI’s essential aid to a critically vulnerable population of Americans may be forced to stop entirely, when it should be expanding.
During this difficult time, SAVI isn’t just looking to sustain our operations, we need to expand. Currently, SAVI has more Veterans on its waiting list than it can handle. While a few of the 200,000 separating Veterans may opt to stay in, many will still leave – and the job market they will enter is one of the worst since the Great Recession of 2008.
As of this writing, regular unemployment is skyrocketing. The Federal Reserve estimates the national unemployment rate could be as high as 32 percent by the end of June. For an already at-risk population like America’s Veterans, this statistic could be a dangerous harbinger of an even worse statistic: Veteran suicide. This means we may have to cut off a developmental lifeline to the men and women who volunteered to serve their country in a time of need.
Our organization has developed a comprehensive, 12-month program for separating military members that is tailored to each person’s individual goals, needs, and barriers. Beginning six months from leaving the military and continuing through six months after separation, SAVI helps Veterans identify their future goals and how their extenuating circumstances can be shaped to meet those goals. Veterans are connected with a personal mentor who will shepherd our beneficiaries through the process.
Veterans are a small subset of Americans who weather crises, build businesses and create jobs, pay taxes, and engage with their civic communities, and provide assistance to anyone in need, veteran or civilian. They just need to know how to get started once they leave the service – and SAVI is one of the most successful and transparent organizations with that mission.
Thank you for taking the time to read and consider our urgent request to support the Strategic Alliance for Veteran Integration. We hope you’ll consider the massive benefits of helping our continued mission of supporting an incredibly vulnerable population that has the potential to transform the communities in which they integrate.