How Does United Way Support Veterans?

How Does United Way Support Veterans?

Happy Veteran's Day and thank you to all who served - and continue to serve - our country.

November 12, 2018

While United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County does not yet directly fund veteran programming, a great deal of the work we do include wrap-around services for military veterans and their families. Our impact areas of Health, Education, and Financial Stability serve the needs often seen in the veteran community, including mental health resources, housing connections and food security. Our funded programs impact over 6,800 local veterans and their families annually.

United Way Strategy

# of Vets Served

Health Care Access


Older Adult Support and Independence


Health Education/Prevention: HIV


Food Security


Behavior and Mental Health


Assessment, Referral and Support


Emergency Shelter


Intimate Partner (Domestic) Violence


Support for Children and Families


Reducing Barriers to Employment


Legal Aid


Housing and Home Ownership


Community Wide Support


Disabilities Services


Health Education/Prevention: Case Management


Local Disaster Response


The above strategies represent issue areas that at least 20 self-identified veterans accessed programs at in the 2016-17 funding cycle

Total of self-identified veterans served through UWGMWC funded programs in 2016-17: 6,816


Additional involvement in veterans’ issues:

Impact 2-1-1:

Impact 2-1-1 is a central access point for people in need. It is available to anyone, but provides 320 unique referral resources specific to veterans. This includes things like Veteran Benefits Assistance, Veteran Employment Programs, Veteran Home Loans, Veteran Survivor Benefits, Veteran Support Groups, and Veteran Reintegration Counseling.

Homeless Veterans:

Veterans are more likely than civilians to experience homelessness due to a higher risk of experiencing traumatic brain injuries and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), both of which have been found to be among the most substantial risk factors for homelessness. A recent increase of sexual trauma to women while serving in the armed forces also greatly increases the risk of homelessness. [1] About a quarter the homeless vets in Wisconsin are in Milwaukee County.[2], [3]

  • United Way works in partnership with the City of Milwaukee to organize Project Homeless Connect – a one-day event that provides a holistic array of resources for men and women experiencing homelessness. Services range from housing & employment opportunities; health & dental screenings; haircuts & photographs to send home; clothing, backpacks & blankets; lunch, and more. 8% of guests accessing services in 2016 identified as being a military veteran.
  • United Way staff volunteers at the twice-a-year Point in Time count of homeless individuals.  Point in Time volunteers work with police and shelter staff to interview every person sleeping on the streets or in a shelter from 7pm to 7am. Two of these locations are at Dryhootch – a 24 hour safe space for Veterans to navigate the peace outside of the battlefield.
  • United Way has mobilized volunteers to write notes of encouragement and pack shoebox kits for Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Initiative.

[1] National Alliance to End Homelessness, “Fact Sheet: Veteran Homelessness” (April 2015).

[2] U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, “HUD 2017 Continuum of Care Homeless Assistance Programs Homeless Populations and Subpopulations” (2017).

[3] HUD Exchange, “2007-2017 PIT Counts by COC (2017)”.  

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