On June 25, 2015 CSH kicked-off the Essex County Veterans Housing and Services Academy, made possible by the support of the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey. This exciting training initiative is aimed at improving outcomes for homeless and vulnerable veterans in Essex County by increasing the military cultural competency of providers that serve them. Over the next few months, CSH will be working with staff from six organizations from multiple sectors that collectively serve more than 1,500 homeless, formerly homeless and otherwise vulnerable veterans each year in Essex County and the surrounding area. Academy Sessions, which are being held at HELP USA’s Newark Clinton Hill Apartments, will be centered around trainings led by experts on topics such as military cultural competency, issues affecting female veterans, legal issues, employment, families and common mental health issues for veterans.
The Essex County Veterans Housing and Services Academy is the third iteration of this unique training series. CSH held our first Veteran Supportive Housing Academy in New York City 2013 and our second in 2014; these rounds were made possible by support from Capital One. The Academy was developed in response to the recognition that there are gaps between civilian and military cultural knowledge that may decrease accessibility or quality of services provided to homeless and formerly homeless veterans. Both rounds of the Academy had great impact on the quality and range of services available to vulnerable veterans in New York City. Participating organizations implemented a number of programmatic changes in response to the lessons learned, such as changing language to make intake forms more veteran-friendly, implementing peer components of their programs and engaging staff around the importance of learning about veteran-specific issues. CSH is excited to be able to offer the Academy in Essex County, with the support of the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey.
The Academy will employ a ‘train- the trainer’ approach, equipping staff with best practices, tools and ideas on how to implement lessons learned through changes in organizational policy and service delivery techniques of frontline staff. Academy sessions will include facilitated discussions around ways to implement lessons learned and time for participants to share changes that their organizations have made as a result of the Academy trainings. In addition, CSH will work to help participants learn from each other and explore how to work together to provide more integrated, accessible services for local veterans.
If you have any questions or would like to learn more, please contact Janis Ikeda by email (Janis.firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (212-986-2966 x. 268).