Findings will inform strategic planning process to deliver critical services and support for Veterans in Massachusetts and beyond
Brighton Marine, a Veteran network community in Massachusetts and the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), an independent and bipartisan research institution in Washington D.C. focused on national security and defense, today announced the results of a statewide needs assessment for Veterans in Massachusetts. The study examined the challenges facing Veterans across generations and demographics in Massachusetts, in addition to the challenges faced by Veterans across the country during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The report identified multiple challenges, with the most critical of all being waived rent, utilities assistance, and funds for basic living expenses. Additionally, Veterans voiced growing concerns over the following:
Streamlining the Veteran benefit application process;
Difficulty in navigating the processes between multiple offices and sources, which is a deterrent to Veterans and families unfamiliar with the process; and,
Providing direct financial assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our mission is and always will be to serve our Veterans and to help them meet the challenges they face every day, including the 130 individuals that call our campus – home. To aid in the development and execution of our strategic plan, we wanted to explore the needs of the local Veteran Community more critically through the partnership with CNAS,” said Michael Dwyer, former President and CEO of Brighton Marine. “Health, financial stability, housing and social supports remain critical needs for our Veterans and this study has shed focus on these acute areas of need. I am thankful for the work that was done here, especially during a global pandemic. We look forward to taking this data, putting it into action and to provide measurable outcomes for future research.”
This project focused on issues facing Veterans of all ages in Massachusetts and examined:
Interventions that could benefit Veterans ranging from those with acute needs to those that are more stable;
Barriers, challenges or inequities that Veterans face including health, housing, financial stability and social support;
National and comparative data on topics including anticipated changes to Veteran demographics across Massachusetts, as well as their education, employment, income, homelessness, health care access, and VA health care spending; and,
Infrastructure supporting Veterans in Massachusetts.
Brighton Marine provides extensive care services to New England’s Veterans and connects multiple Veteran service providers through a coordinated care network. In addition to a variety of Veteran services, the campus is home to the Residences at Brighton Marine, Massachusetts’ first public and private housing project since WWII for Active Duty, Veterans, National Guard, Reservists and their families. And it recently added permanent housing for vulnerable Veterans at the “Veterans Housing at Brighton Marine.”