Southwestern Center for Independent Living; Marshall, MN 56258 

Veterans Services Program:  A description of the process that SWCIL followed to develop its veterans services program.
SWCIL has served veterans for many years but in 2007/2008 decided to focus on local needs of veterans because there is a lack of community based services for veterans with disabilities especially in rural areas.
A local guard unit was deployed to Iraq and that return created greater public awareness of the need for Veteran services in the community. A SWCIL staff person was a member of the local unit but was not deployed. However, her friendships with unit members and National Guard staff led to discussing SWCIL services with the local Family Assistance Center (FAC) Staff.  FAC works with service members and their families on many issues.
 SWCIL became part of a local effort to learn more about the needs of veterans in our rural communities. Michele Gatz (Yellow Medicine County Veteran Services Officer) and local FAC team member Jeff Gay who coordinated the formation of the local effort asked SWCIL to join that effort.Read More...
Metropolitan Center for Independent Living (MCIL) in St. Paul, Minnesota is concentrating on peer mentoring for veterans.  They are working with the Hennepin County Veterans Court and have trained thirty two peer mentors. These peer mentors will be matched with veterans in the court system.  They are also focusing on ramps for veterans and finding funding to build them.  They plan to work with veterans groups to build the ramps, and possibly some other home modifications. As these programs develop and stabilize, they will look more at providing services for families and other supports. www.mcil-mn.org

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