Stronger Together

Craig--Blog-8

As a Center of Excellence, Dixon Center for Military and Veterans Services provides and coordinates technical assistance/training, resource sharing, and strong leadership to our partners, who, with our ongoing support, operate direct service programs. We work at local and national levels in five focus areas:

Workforce development and career placement: Helping organizations and institutions with programs that recruit, integrate, train, and retain transitioning service members, veterans and military families.

Housing solutions: Collaborating and building partnerships with national partners to expand affordable housing opportunities and services for veterans.

Wellness research and development: Assessing, advising, and assisting organizations as they create, or expand, products and services across the eight dimensions of wellness: emotional, spiritual, intellectual, physical, environmental, occupational, financial, and social.

Expanding funding streams for veteran entrepreneurs: Partnering with financial institutions on reaching veterans with small business funding, planning, and mentorship programs.

Advancing impact via service networks: Facilitating the integration of military and veteran services into existing organizational programs in order to increase impact.

One of Dixon Center's seven goals is to Strengthen the capacity of our partners who deliver services in focus areas like ours. Our strategy is to partner with business and industry, service providers, and training institutions to develop and operate direct service programs for veterans and their families in our five focus areas. Our goal is not to create new programs. Rather, the goal is to enable the integration of military and veteran services into existing programs to increase impact.

Within the framework of the five focus areas, our approach with each partner is different based upon their specific goals and desired outcomes. A common objective in our work with all of our partners is to increase their visibility and impact by assisting them in being able to rapidly respond to the emerging needs of veterans and their families.

Despite the pandemic, we have helped increase impact in the five focus areas by collaborating with strong partners such as CONSENSYS Health, Hope for The Warriors, Angel Force USA, Burn Pits 360, Soldier On, Opportunity Finance Network, University of Chicago, Single Stop, Teamsters Military Assistance Program, the Utility Workers Military Assistance Program, and the AFL-CIO, to name just a few.

Given all our work with these partners with shared interests and focus areas we have identified these lessons during 2020:

  • During the challenging times of Covid-19, some of the focus areas have moved to a higher priority than others. For example, there are less organizations wanting assistance in providing capital to veteran entrepreneurs. Yet, we have seen an increased demand for assistance by organizations with goals relating to veterans financial, emotional, and social well-being.
  • Dixon Center for Military and Veterans Services must remain agile with a versatile staff. We have a keener sense of what is important. Sacred cows have been killed off. Conferences, collaboratives, logos and egos, have to a large degree faded to the background and organizations are again focused more on impact…not on brand.
  • While the national sense of community is under pressure; local sense of community has never meant more. Neighbors are engaging with 'their' at risk populations more than they ever have. There is more awareness of the challenges impacting quality of life for veterans and their families now because most people are feeling the same kinds of pressures: isolation, financial challenges, disconnection from family members, almost random impacts to health and death that civilians never have to contemplate regularly.


We are excited about continuing to create real change. As we look to the future, we will continue to collect data and apply lessons learned. Our collaboration and capacity building with our national network of community-based partners is making an impact for veterans and their families.

For more information about Dixon Center and our outreach and awareness efforts, please contact Duncan Milne, President, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Leveraging and Strengthening Program Networks
Engagement and Awareness
 

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Thursday, 22 October 2020