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Veterans Resource Center Opens at Norwalk Library

Sue Cane and Mayor Jennifer Perez (center) officially cut the ribbon for the new VRC with visiting dignitaries and Norwalk Chamber members. Photo by Tammye McDuff.

 

May 16, 2018, 11:46 a.m.

By Tammye McDuff

 

The Norwalk Library held its grand opening for the new Veterans Resource Center [VRC], Monday, May 14, 2018.  “In partnership with the California Department of Veterans Affairs and the California State Library, Norwalk Library now offers assistance to veterans and their families,” said Jesse Walker-Lanz, L.A. County Library, ”at the Veteran Resource Center, vets and families can meet with trained volunteers to find out about state and federal education, employment, housing, health, and disability benefits. We are proud to way we now have three locations in this area.”

 

Norwalk Mayor, Jennifer Perez added, “Today we celebrate our commitment to the men and women who leave the safety of their homes, to ensure the safety of our families.” Perez went on to state that the City of Norwalk is home to over 3,000 veterans.  The City honors these residents with the Hometown Heroes Banner Program, Pets for Troops, and special parking for wounded veterans in all City facilities. “We also hold ceremonies to express our respect and appreciation for their service and today we celebrate the opening of the third Veterans Resource Center.”

 

The VRC offers individual, group or family counseling; workshops dealing with stress, anxiety and anger management; spousal support groups, MST and PTSD counseling; bereavement counseling; employment referrals; Alcoholics Anonymous groups and court ordered 52-week domestic violence groups.

 

VRC provides supportive services to very low-income Veteran families living in or transitioning to permanent housing through the Supportive Services for Veteran Families grant.

 

VRC provides transitional housing for homeless veterans through the VA’s Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem Program. The purpose is to promote the development and provision of supportive housing and/or supportive services with the goal of helping homeless veterans achieve residential stability, increase their skill levels and/or income, and obtain greater self-determination.

 

 

Sue Cane sits with a combat vet volunteer at the new Veterans Resource Center.

 

The unemployment rate for veterans hovers around the national average. Those who are still out of work say that they face discrimination, and are often offered jobs that are beneath their expertise level. One of the VRC’s most successful employment training programs is “Winning the Employment Game”. This program focuses on helping individuals achieve results by providing a personalized career exploration and job-search program.

 

 Thousands of military service members, veterans and their families must tend to the psychological wounds of battle for years to come. Mental health disorders, signature injuries of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, affect one in five active duty service members.  Vet Centers are community based and part of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.  There is a Combat Call Center that is a 24/7 confidential call center where combat vets and family members can talk about their military experiences or any other issue they are facing in readjustment to civilian life. The staff is comprised of combat veterans from several eras and is a free call at 877.927.8387. 

 

The Center also houses a collection of books, DVDs, and other library materials selected particularly for veterans.  Norwalk Library is located at 12350 Imperial Highway in Norwalk. 

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