President Obama and his administration has made a commitment to ending veteran homelessness by 2015. In order to achieve this goal, it is imperative that providers work together with veteran’s service agencies to provide care for all veterans.
In response to this need CSH recently developed a curriculum for the Supportive Housing Veteran Training Academy, an eight-session training program targeted to supportive housing providers in New York to increase military cultural competency. The inaugural class of nine supportive housing agencies participated in trainings on topics that ranged from basic Military 101 to how to utilize veteran peers to increase engagement. Experts in the field led the classes, and each session included a facilitated discussion so that participants can learn from others’ practices in serving veterans.
The Academy utilized a train-the-trainer model and focused on how attendees could take their lessons learned back to the programs they worked with to implement change. Immediate impact was seen as participants developed their own plans for staff development around veteran issues, started to think about how to create more veteran-friendly intake forms, and engaged their supervisors about the importance of learning about veteran issues. Jeanette Ruffins, Deputy Director of Supportive Housing at Bailey House, Inc., attended the sessions to increase her knowledge of issues facing veterans. She said, “In this field we talk a lot about culture, and what it means to be culturally competent. Before this Academy, I had never thought about the military as having its own culture. This course has given me a greater understanding of the issues that veterans face and will help my agency serve the men and women who served this country.”
CSH found the first Academy almost immediately had a great impact on the quality of services delivered to vulnerable veterans. And as a result of high quality and growing demand, CSH, is pleased to offer a new cohort of providers the opportunity to participate in the Veterans Academy. This second round will be available to all human services providers who work with veterans, including government agencies, employment programs and housing programs. The Academy consists of 8 sessions offered biweekly that cover a range of topics related to increasing military cultural competency including an introduction to military benefits, specific issues facing female veterans, and training on post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury.
The first training will be held in January 2014 at the CSH headquarters, loacted in downtown Manhattan.
The Academy series would not be possible without support from Capital One. “At Capital One, we recognize the need for quality, affordable housing in our communities, and understand the importance of ensuring civilian supportive housing providers have the information, insights and resources they need to support our veterans,” said Mariadele Priest, Vice President, Community Development Banking. “After serving our country, our service members are returning home and looking for ways to reintegrate into our local community. We’re proud to support our veterans during this important transition and are committed to doing our part.”
To apply for the second Academy, fill out our application here or call Rachael Steimnitz at 212-986-2966- ext. 222 for more information.