$10 million from American Rescue Plan invested into Wisconsin veterans programs

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MADISON, Wis. — Programs that support Wisconsin’s veterans received a financial boost Wednesday.

Governor Evers announced that $10 million would be used to support programs that connect veterans with mental health services, housing, and employment.

The move comes after a recommendation from the Blue Ribbon Commission on Veteran Opportunity. The commission was formed earlier this year with the goal of finding solutions to help the 300,000-plus veterans who live in Wisconsin.

The commission recommended expanding funding and access to veteran mental health services and forming a rental assistance program to help homeless veterans. It also recommended expanding the Veterans Outreach and Recovery Program and giving added help to county veteran services offices and tribal veterans service offices, as well as increasing funding for the Department of Workforce Development’s Hire Heroes Program.

“Our veterans have faced an especially challenging few years on top of the specific challenges folks face returning to civilian life,” Evers said in a press release Wednesday. “I look forward to ensuring these investments and recommendations receive long-term, ongoing support in our next biennial budget.”

Evers said that the $10 million will be divided to meet each recommendation.

$4.5 million will be used to fund support for veterans’ mental health programs and emergency services. A total of $2 million will be used to create a rental assistance program for homeless veterans, and $1.5 million was given to the VORP and to CVSOs and TVSOs. Finally, $500,000 will be given to fund the Hire Heroes Program.

The investment was funded through the American Rescue Plan Act.