The San Francisco-based Koret Foundation has announced grants totaling $1.2 million to six organizations serving veterans in the Bay Area.
Focused in the areas of health care, workforce development, and the transition to civilian life, the three-year grants will help the organizations bridge the growing gap between government services and benefits provided to veterans and veterans' needs. Recipients include the VA Palo Alto Health Care System, which was awarded $420,000 in support of transportation services for disabled or impaired veterans from as far away as Livermore, Modesto, Monterey, and Sonora; Higher Ground, which will receive $210,000 in support of weeklong recreational therapy programs for disabled veterans designed to reduce the symptoms of PTSD, help them build a network of peers, and develop skills that improve their quality of life; and Goodwill Industries of San Francisco, San Mateo, and Marin, which was awarded $450,000 for a new Veterans Employment Training and Services (VETS) program.
There are approximately twenty-three thousand veterans in the Bay Area region, 50 percent of whom have experienced financial insecurity in the past year, up to 50 percent of whom are not receiving care for significant physical or mental issues, and 80 percent of whom exited military service without a stable employment option.
"Our nation's veterans have paid a special price in serving our country," said Koret Foundation president Michael Boskin. "It is our responsibility to ensure that they have the necessary resources and services to make a successful transition back to civilian life. We hope that our support will raise awareness of the challenges veterans face and encourage other funders to follow suit."