VA partners with YMCA of the USA to support Veterans

Washington, D.C., November 6, 2015– The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and YMCA of the USA (Y-USA) have refreshed and expanded their partnership to promote and enhance the health and well-being of Veterans and their families.

A new agreement will make it easier for Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) Regional Offices and Veterans Health Administration (VHA) facilities to work with local YMCAs to ensure that Veterans are connected to needed resources and opportunities in their communities.

“Since the Civil War, the Y has been a friend to Servicemembers and Veterans—the YMCA’s education scholarships were forerunners of the GI Bill,” said Secretary Bob McDonald. “I’m pleased to announce that VA and Y-USA have agreed to continue that legacy by further expanding our partnership.”

In communities where VA and the Y choose to work together, the partnership connects Veterans to VA services and benefits in the areas of employment, homelessness, healthy lifestyle programming, and reintegration into the local community.

“This enhanced agreement makes it easier for local VA facilities and YMCAs to collaborate on helping transitioning Servicemembers and Veterans connect to the resources and opportunities that they need,” said McDonald.

“Our nation’s Veterans, and their families, have dedicated so much in service to our country. The Y is honored to have the opportunity to show our appreciation by doing what we do best – improving the lives of individuals in the communities we serve,” said Kevin Washington, President and CEO of Y-USA. “There are many YMCAs across the nation that are already working with VA and providing services directly to Veterans, this formal acknowledgement between the Y and VA will make it easier for that work to continue, expand and flourish.”

VA is committed to working closely with nongovernmental organizations, such as Y-USA to identify new and innovative ways to support VA’s commitment to care for those who “have borne the battle” and their families. Strengthening collaborations within communities and with community-based organizations helps to achieve VA’s goal of improving the lives of Veterans, servicemembers, their families, caregivers, and survivors.

While the collaboration might look different in each participating community, the mutual goals of improving the lives of Veterans and their families will remain consistent nationwide.

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Media Contacts: 

Office of Public Affairs: (202) 461-7600

Y-USA: (312) 419-8337, media@ymca.net 

Friday, November 6, 2015

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