Quinn Unveils Plans For New Veterans’ Welcome Home Center And Agenda To Help Veterans Within First 100 Days In Office

(August 29, 2013) – Christine Quinn today announced steps she will take within her first 100 days in office to meet help meet the needs of New York City’s veterans returning home. Quinn’s plan includes a proposal to provide support services for veterans who are trying to open a business in the city. The cornerstone of Quinn plan includes opening a new welcome home center that will be a one-stop shop for information and assistance. 

“After leaving the service, veterans are often left with just a handshake and a piece of paper. New York City can do more, and our veterans deserve more,” said Quinn. “For many veterans, the services and benefits they’ve earned are complex and difficult to navigate. As mayor, I will ensure that the City helps vets cut through the red tape and make it easier to gain access important employment, mental health and support services.”

Quinn announced that as mayor, within her first 100 days in office, she will: 

Create New York City’s first welcome home center for returning veterans – Quinn committed to establish a new center located in Times Square, on or near the iconic Military Island. The center will offer help accessing counseling, medical, job and housing services. Through a partnership with Veteran Service Organizations, Quinn will also create satellite support centers in each of the five boroughs to meet additional needs. Quinn’s proposals will ensure that the process of reintegration is as smooth as can possibly be for veterans. 

Provide grants to veteran small business owners and entrepreneurs – Quinn’s proposal will create a Veteran Business Enterprise certification that will give small business owners access to training and provide contracting preferences. Quinn also will provide prioritized access to capital for recent veterans looking to start small businesses.

Expand mental health support and alternatives to incarceration that focus on veterans – Quinn will expand veteran courts that provide judges and counselors who understand the issues impacting veterans and ensure that people who have served their country are treated with the respect they’ve earned. New York has been a pioneer in creating alternative courts that work to provide support for veterans in the criminal justice system because of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or another combat-related injury. Additionally, Quinn will expand peer support services and training for health professionals treating veterans.

Make the Mayor’s Office of Veterans Affairs (MOVA) a model for veteran outreach and coordination – The most recent generation of veterans faces unique challenges reintegrating with their communities and MOVA should reflect those needs. Chris Quinn will transform the office to target the immediate needs of the current generation of veterans and will expand its ability to provide services to all veterans. Quinn’s changes to the office will include: increasing in-person outreach from case workers; implementing a veteran protocol for 311 to immediately identify veterans and direct them to appropriate support; and creating an online portal within mycityhall.gov specifically to meet veterans needs.

New York City is home to approximately 220,000 veterans. More than 15,000 served in Iraq or Afghanistan, with as many as half returning with psychological injury.