By Debbie Gregory.
Approximately 1.8 million Veterans currently call the state of California home. That number will likely more than double over the next few years as the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) predicts that as many as 40,000 members of the Armed Forces are expected to return to California every year for the next several years. Because the Veteran community is rapidly expanding in California, CalVet is taking measures to ensure the availability of Veterans services to its home-state heroes.
Beginning this month, with the cooperation of the California State Library, CalVet will be opening Veterans Resource Centers in public libraries that belong to the California State Library system. The first Veterans Resource Center will open on Tuesday, February 11 at the Whittier Public Library’s Central Library, located at 7344 Washington Ave. CalVet will also be opening centers in libraries in Sacramento, Fresno, Los Angeles, Riverside and Ventura.
The Veterans Resource Centers will be staffed by library volunteers. CalVet will train the workers to provide support and assistance to Veterans and Veteran families. CalVet hopes that providing these centers will connect more Vets to the local, state and federal benefits that they are entitled to.
More than a year ago, CalVet, with grant funding from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services, opened library pilot centers in San Diego, Bakersfield and Redding, CA. Since opening, those centers have combined to serve more than 4,000 Veterans.
Too many Veterans are uninformed about the benefits, services and resources available to them. And many more Veterans don’t know to apply for the aid that they earned through their duty and sacrifice. CalVet’s library Veteran Resource Centers have proven to be efficient and effective in reaching the largest number of Veterans.
MilitaryConnection.com is pleased to see such initiative taken by the state of California. Veterans in our home county of Ventura will be especially well taken care of. Not only will they be provided services through the new Veterans Resource Center opening at the EP Foster Library in Ventura, but they already have access to the Veterans Service Center in Camarillo, made possible by the generosity and diligence of the Gold Coast Veterans Foundation.
For a list of library Veterans Resource Centers that will be opening, please visit the CalVet website.