City Launches Online Community For Veterans
City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn and Veterans Committee Chair Mathieu Eugene have announced the launch of a new website to assist veterans with city services. The City will partner with Warrior Gateway, an organization dedicated to assisting veterans, in creating a free online portal that will allow members of the military community to more easily and quickly access the services and programs they need. Warrior Gateway executive director, Business Executives for National Security (BENS) Project Manager Devin B. Holmes and executive director of Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN) and former Marine Corps captain Anu Bhagwhati participated in the announcement.
New York City is the nation’s first city to partner with Warrior Gateway. As part of this partnership, the city will provide a comprehensive list of services available to veterans throughout the five boroughs. The city will also work towards increased participation in the program, by both veteran service providers and veterans.
To date, more than 40 New York City organizations have provided their service information to Warrior Gateway. The site, free to use, is modeled after sites such as Yelp and Citysearch and offers links to services from more than 17,000 businesses nationwide. In addition to accessing programs, veterans are able to rate the services they received. Veterans interested in signing up for the free site can visit http://www.warriorgateway.org.
“Now, not only do veterans have this comprehensive list, but they are able to have online discussions about their experiences and hold each organization accountable for what they offer,” said Quinn. “Warrior Gateway’s mission and purpose is vital to the hundreds of thousands of veterans living in New York City. I’m proud to be the first City to partner with Warrior Gateway and we will continue to expand our participation to its fullest extent.”
“The Speaker, myself and my fellow members of the veterans committee are working hard to make sure veterans are receiving the services they desperately need. Veterans throughout the city, including those just returning home from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, are struggling to connect with service providers. By partnering with Warrior Gateway, we are helping veterans gain access to information about available services, including information about jobs, healthcare benefits and educational opportunities.” said Eugene.
“Those who serve in our country’s armed forces are on the front lines in protecting the freedoms we value as Americans,” said Council Member Al Vann, a veteran Marine sergeant. “We must ensure that we repay their sacrifice by making reintegration into our communities as easy as possible. This website will go a long way towards easing veterans’ transition back into civilian life and providing other veterans with easy access to available services. I am proud that New York City is at the forefront in partnering with non-profit organizations to improve services for veterans, and I look forward to building upon this strong foundation.”
According to the 2000 Census, approximately 300,000 veterans live in New York City. The data does not take into account the most recent veterans returning from operations in support of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“The Warrior Gateway applauds New York City, its leaders, and its service community for taking such an active role in serving New York veterans and their loved ones,” said Warrior Gateway Executive Director Devin Holmes. “The City serves as a model for other cities and communities nationwide.”
The Warrior Gateway serves as a trusted and reliable resource for the military community to quickly locate service organizations that satisfy their needs, identify academic programs they are interested in and easily find employers seeking their valuable skills. Led by Business Executives for National Security (BENS), a coalition of non-profit and corporate partners collaborate in building and expanding the Warrior Gateway.