SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — This week, veterans can get help finding therapists, sustainable housing and more at the Institute for Veterans and Military Families, IVMF, for a week of Veterans Day events.
Throughout the week, veterans and their families will be able to connect with professionals who will act as the stepping stone for an easier process of connecting to agencies they may have never heard about on their own.
IVMF program manager Lisa Murray said their staff will be at these events.
“We’re that navigator,” Murray said. “[We’re] that resource that comes in to connect you to the community.”
Murray said they expect to help over 100 veterans and their families this week, similar to the approximate 125 families they have helped since their creation in June.
IVMF communications manager Brandon Dyer said this is the first year they have had these networks in Syracuse.
“Having the in-person aspect I think really helps people feel like they’re less isolated,” Dyer said.
Dyer said for many service members that transitioned last year during the pandemic, they often had to do these things virtually.
“You’re looking at a cross country move,” Dyer said. “Both members of the household looking for a new job. Putting your children in a new school and you’re all doing this virtually with a lot of turbulence in society surrounding you.”
Dyer said as an Army veteran himself, he experienced first-hand what leaving active duty feels like.
“The financials, instability I felt after leaving the service put me in a very dark space mentally,” Dyer said.
Dyer said leaving the service is not just a change of job.
“You’re transforming your entire life,” Dyer said. “Your family is transforming their entire life.”