Nonprofit to help veterans opens office in New Tazewell

Volunteers of America representative Clyde Vincent detailed the services veterans can receive from the nonprofit’s recently opened location in New Tazewell, during the regular monthly meeting last week of the board of Mayor and Aldermen.

Vincent said the organization has two grants to help the area.

“These grants will help any veteran, as long as they’ve not been dishonorably discharged. We’re trying to help them get over the bump. These are not handouts,” said Vincent.

The housing grant is a nine-month program. However, the Volunteers of America try to get the veterans back on their feet as quickly as possible.

“Our help can be a matter of they fall behind with their utilities. We’ve been finding that, through no fault of their own, utility costs might be real high. If your utilities get shut off, you’re going to be affected. Or, you might fall behind in your rent,” said Vincent.

The employment grant, funded by the Department of Labor, is specifically for veterans who are homeless or at-risk for homelessness. This grant is designed to help with any barriers associated with getting to work. For instance, transportation needs that might include gas money or a ride with ETHRA, he said.

Essentials like appropriate work clothes and tools or help with drafting a presentable resume could be the catalyst needed to landing a good job.

Vincent says he understands the hesitance many veterans have in reaching out for help.

“I know there are veterans out there who can use the assistance. Like me, I’m a veteran. I was in 22 years. And, I was one of the stubborn ones who didn’t want to ask for help. There’re a lot of veterans who don’t ask. They just try to deal with it or do without,” said Vincent.

Just some of the services provided free to qualifying vets include job training and placement, career counseling and mentoring, classroom training, financial assistance and life skills support services.

Volunteers of America serve qualifying veterans in Claiborne, Grainger, Union, Campbell, Scott, Fentress, Hamblen and Jefferson counties.

Vincent also works with the “help US . help Veterans,” a nonprofit that provides assistance to all veterans.

He also oversees the “Veterans Stand Down,” an event started just last year.

The New Tazewell location of Volunteers of America is located at 123 Main Street.

To find out more about these organizations, call 865-607-6231.