Counties Get Money for Veterans Services

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The 2013 Oregon Legislative Assembly has provided the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs (ODVA) with $600,000 in funding for the Veterans’ Extended Outreach Grant Program (VEOGP) to support county veteran service offices. This provision marks the first time money has been allocated for a competitive grant to increase outreach to veterans.

The goals of the grant program are to serve veterans statewide to greatest effect, improve outreach to veterans, inform them of their benefits, and file claims on their behalf.

Umatilla County received the second-largest funding with $53,540. Josephine County received $68,100. Morrow County received $8,569.50.

The VEOGP’s Evaluation Committee met on Jan. 15, 2014 to consider applications for grant proposals submitted by 26 of the 34 eligible state’s county veteran service offices for the 2013-15 Grant Awards. The committee consisted of two ODVA employees and two county veteran service officers chosen by the director, and one member of the Veterans Advisory Committee chosen by that committee’s chair.

ODVA’s Veteran Services Division Administrator Eric Belt said the proposals were thoughtful, innovative and targeted to meet the needs of local veteran communities.

“The core of most proposals focused on a unique combination of staff enhancement, outreach and technology upgrades to meet the challenges of serving veterans and their family members,” he said.

After a thorough review and evaluation, 19 proposals were selected for full funding based upon ranking. The remaining seven proposals were selected for an equal share of partial funding that was predicated on the availability of funds.