Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative
Veterans Outreach Center is proud to be among the dedicated community taking action to improve our services and solutions for all. Read the report here
vetMploy- a new way to find the right job, right now!
For registered clients of Veterans Outreach Center, vetMploy is a new online networking platform that puts the power of your job search in your hands. With online database for both employers AND job seekers, vetMploy is the best way to find the best veteran job candidates. Register for vetMploy
Workshop: Home Mortgage 101 (April 28, 2016)
If you're in the process of buying a home, or even thinking about taking that big step, then this seminar is for you. Click here for registration information
Meet Our Veterans
Meet Tim Jacobs- Tim is a U.S. Navy veteran, a father, and a student. He's been around the world and came home to Rochester, where his transition and reintegration wasn't always 'smooth sailing.' Finding himself at VOC's Richards House residential program was a turning point for Tim. So much that he has now found his career direction thanks to the staff of Veterans Outreach Center's influence, and he's leading the veteran community to a brighter future through the power of higher education!
Jennifer Gibson, MA, began working with VOC on Monday, April 4th. She comes to us with a plethora of experience in Marketing and Fundraising. Most recently Jennifer worked in Marketing at The MedAmerica Companies. Prior to that, she was Director of Development at Lollypop Farm, the Humane Society of Greater Rochester. Jennifer has her Bachelor of Arts degree from Ball State University in Indiana and went on to earn her Masters in Arts Administration (Nonprofit Management) from Indiana University. Jennifer lives on Conesus lake with her boyfriend, Alex, and 3 dogs. She is a seasoned professional with high energy and is ready to dig in!
We welcome Alec Andrest as our new Residential Manager of the Richards House. Alec comes to us with a wealth of experience, most recently his former position as the Vice President at MassMutual Rochester. He has served time in the United States Marine Corps Infantry from 2006-2014, where he was deployed in Helmand Province Afghanistan, from 2010-2011. Alec and his wife, Julianna have two boys, ages 7 and 2, and have a third on the way! Busy but dedicated to our mission and veterans, he plans to focus on veteran engagement with all the programs the VOC has to offer.
Battle Buddies to Embark on 60-Mile Road March
Veterans to raise awareness for peer-to-peer mentoring program
Rochester, NY – On Friday, April 15th, U.S. Army Combat Veterans Sergeant First Class Sean Smith and Sergeant Major David Oliver will embark on a 60-mile road march along the Erie Canal from Lockport to Rochester to raise awareness for Veterans Outreach Center’s Battle Buddy program. Smith and Oliver will begin their journey at 9:00 a.m. at the American Legion Post 410 at 42 Niagara Street in Lockport, halting at Medina’s American Legion Butt-Clark Post at 305 North Main Street for the night. The pair will resume their march at 8:00 a.m. on April 16th, stopping at the American Legion Post Harsch Crisp Seaman Post 379 at 201 West Avenue in Brockport for the evening, and finish their trek beginning at 8:00 a.m. on Sunday, April 17th until they reach the Veterans Outreach Center (VOC) at 459 South Avenue in Rochester.
Veterans Outreach Center’s Battle Buddy Program is a new peer-to-peer mentoring effort combined with a social interaction component for veterans, service members, and their families. The program’s goal is to build bonds between veterans to assist in navigating the unique obstacles veterans may face. Battle Buddy team members will participate in monthly events, social and networking gatherings, weekly buddy checks and social media communities designed specifically for them. The program is funded through a grant for Supportive Services for Veteran Families from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
“The Battle Buddy program offers veterans an opportunity to continue serving each other,” says Todd Baxter, Executive Director of Veterans Outreach Center. “The multitude of veterans’ services in Rochester and Buffalo can be overwhelming, and peer mentoring programs like this are in high demand.”
According to the Syracuse University Institute for Veterans and Military Families April 2015 Report, “Driving Community Impact,” veterans who seek employment services, housing or financial assistance also request mentoring and engagement services. A 2011 NYSHealth-supported study, “A Needs Assessment of New York State Veterans,” conducted by the RAND Corporation, identified increasing peer-led programs to help veterans navigate the health system and provide immediate support to returning veterans as a priority area for improvement.
“We decided to conduct the march to bring awareness to this new, much-needed program,” says Smith. “We know first-hand how difficult reintegration into the community can be, and we hope the Battle Buddies program will provide a new level of support for our veterans,” adds Oliver. The pair invites the community to come out in support of their march.
Smith, a U.S. Army combat veteran with 16 years combined service of active duty and National Guard, struggled with alcohol addiction upon return from multiple overseas deployments. With the support he received from Veterans Outreach Center, he returned to Monroe Community College earning a degree in addictions counseling, is a recent graduate of the Army Ranger School and currently serves as VOC’s Mentoring Coordinator. Smith currently serves as an infantry platoon sergeant in the New York Army National Guard. Smith is also the co-founder of ROCovery Fitness of Rochester, a non-profit supportive community of physically active individuals brought together by their pursuit of sober living committed to creating an environment of healing and recovery.
Oliver has 31 years combined service of active duty and National Guard. He entered the U.S. Army in 1985 and has been deployed on numerous homeland security missions, including three tours in Afghanistan. His military education includes all four Non-Commissioned Officers Education Courses, culminating in his graduation from the Sergeants Major Academy in 2010. He also holds an Associate’s Degree in History from Monroe Community College, a Bachelor’s Degree in History from SUNY Geneseo and a Master’s Degree from the American Military University. Oliver is an Education Specialist at Veterans Outreach Center and the current Operations Sergeant Major for the 42nd Infantry Division.
Veterans and their families are encouraged to join the walk. To learn more about the Battle Buddy program or about Veterans Outreach Center, please call Sean Smith at 585-295-7821 or visit www.veteransoutreachcenter.org.
See the 'Celebration' photos here! The 10th Annual event was held November 5th, 2015- Honoring Ken Moore, Veteran Advocate, and Roberta Abbott-Buckle, Bank of America Volunteer of the Year
Fans are encouraged to nominate friends, family members, and co-workers. Click here!