Communities Focused on Proactive, Holistic Support for Veterans See Positive Impact
WASHINGTON, May 30, 2018 (Newswire.com) - America’s Warrior Partnership has announced the results of its 2018 Community Integration Annual Survey Report, which for the second year in a row has found that the most sought-after resources by military veterans are centered around opportunities to connect with and give back to their community. Overall, 20% of the population of veterans surveyed are only looking for either a connection to other service members, recreational activities or ways to continue serving in a civilian capacity through volunteerism. These veterans are not seeking access to any other resources.
“Many veteran-serving organizations and community leaders understandably focus on services related to housing, healthcare and other urgent needs, but it’s important to take this feedback from our nation’s veterans into consideration,” said Jim Lorraine, president and CEO of America’s Warrior Partnership. “There are missed opportunities that veteran-focused organizations can capitalize on. After receiving similar feedback in last year’s survey, the affiliate communities we support took this input to heart and emphasized providing opportunities for networking, recreation, and volunteerism to local veterans. These communities saw significant improvement in the outlook of the veterans they supported over the last year as a result of their continuing efforts.”
According to the survey, 55.9 percent of veterans seek greater opportunities for recreational or other physical activities; 48 percent seek greater opportunities to connect with other military service members, veterans and their families and caregivers; and 39.8 percent seek volunteer opportunities within their community.
In communities that prioritized supporting veterans in these three areas, the survey found that 81 percent of veterans feel that they have the resources they need within their community, as opposed to 75 percent in last year’s survey. Furthermore, veterans’ perception that they can thrive in their community increased by eight percent year over year.
The Importance of Proactive Outreach and Long-Term Engagements
The survey also assessed the most effective ways that veteran-serving organizations are interacting with veterans, active-duty service members, and their families and caregivers. On average, twice as many warriors were engaged by service providers through proactive outreach efforts over the last year as opposed to those who sought assistance as a walk-in. In addition, while the survey found that 25 percent of warriors felt a sense of wellbeing within the first three months of engaging a community organization, that number increased to 75 percent after engaging with a community organization for more than three months.
“It’s important for communities to not only consider the type of resources they provide to local veterans but also how they interact with them,” said Lorraine. “Proactive outreach, frequent contact and long-term engagements are essential for communities that wish to provide holistic support to local veterans.”
The Adult Hope Scale
This is the third year in which the Community Integration Annual Survey Report incorporated the Adult Hope Scale, which is a proven method of evaluating hope through both objective and subjective measurements. Results showed that 55 percent of veterans scored as “thriving,” which is a 2 percent increase from last year. Moreover, America’s Warrior Partnership found that as the Hope Scale score for veterans in a community increases, their feeling of being able to adapt to changes and bounce back from hardships also increases.
“The Adult Hope Scale reveals that a majority of veterans continue to score as ‘thriving,’ which is a good indicator that they have a strong, positive outlook on life,” said Lorraine. “This means that veteran-serving organizations are moving in the right direction to best support our nation’s veterans at the local level, and we hope that the insights provided by this year’s survey empower communities to continue doing so in the years to come.”
More than 1,623 veterans, active-duty service members, military family members, caregivers and community members participated in the 2018 Community Integration Annual Survey Report. The full report is available on America’s Warrior Partnership website.
About America’s Warrior Partnership
America’s Warrior Partnership is committed to empowering communities to empower veterans. We fill the gaps that exist between current veteran service organizations by helping nonprofits connect with the veterans, military members, and families in need: bolstering their efficacy, improving their results and empowering their initiatives. America’s Warrior Partnership is a force multiplier for warrior community integration that enhances communities where great Americans choose to live and contribute. For more information on the organization and how to get involved, visit www.AmericasWarriorPartnership.org.
Joe Wolf, Dalton Agency
Anthony Popiel, Dalton Agency
Source: America's Warrior Partnership