Wellness & Supportive Services
Case Management - Case management services are the heart of the Center’s ability to offer each and every client an individualized and holistic path to wellness. Regardless of a client’s needs or entry point, 100% of clients receive varying degrees of case management services at VOC.
VOC started offering Art Therapy in October 2010 and since then it has become an integral part of our expanded Wellness and Supportive Services program. Art therapy promotes healing, insight, and wellness through the use of various art interventions. In line with our other counseling and case management services, art therapists work with veterans to build on already existing strengths and reach goals identified and developed in the first few therapy visits.
We started offering Open Studio on Fridays where veterans can connect with peers and make art in a supportive and creative space. This February the program expanded to include an art gallery, Our House Gallery, on South Avenue next to the Richards House campus.
Steps To Enable Positive Solutions (STEPS)
2011 saw the launch of the STEPS program within VOC’s portfolio of services, a program aimed at eliminating the risk of homelessness among veterans. Adding collaborative partnerships with agencies that offer additional services to meet the needs of veterans and families facing financial crisis (see ‘Community Partners’), VOC is able to effectively address the primary risk factors that lead to the threat of homelessness. VOC is able to do this through a full integration of an individual or family’s need with our case management system.
A federal Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) Program grant was awarded in 2011 allowing VOC and it’s affiliated partners to create STEPS. With 10.4% of all households in the Greater Rochester area veteran families, 1,682 of those 7,415 families earn less than half the median income for the region. For them, VOC’s STEPS program has made a real difference when they needed it most. And the need is great, the STEPS program has already enrolled over 200 Veterans and families since it's inception in September.
These programs assisted Veterans like...
– A disabled Veteran from the Persian Gulf Era living on less than $9,000 a year. He could not afford any unforeseen expenses. But such was the case in November of 2011, due to circumstances beyond his control. Through VOC’s STEPS program we were able to provide him with some temporary financial assistance quickly to cover the cost of rent arrears. In the end, $100 was all it took to prevent from becoming homeless.
– Robert lost his job in the fall of 2011. It was a major blow financially and emotionally. With an unemployment claim still pending, he started getting behind on his rent and utilities. After coming to Veterans Outreach Center, Robert got connected with a number of supportive services to help him through this difficult time. He was referred to MCLAC to receive assistance with his unemployment claim, the HVRP program to assist with his job search process, DSS to begin receiving benefits in case neither of the previous sources of income came through, and the education specialist to help him assess retraining options. Through VOC’s newest grant, the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) we were able to assist him with his rent arrears for November and December, as well as his overdue utility bill. He is now completing training for a Commercial Driver’s License and is on a path of sustainability for the future.
–"I originally arrived at VOC because my wife and I were having some serious marital issues. However, I realized that if things were going to work out between my wife and myself I had to resolve my own personal issues first. I was never one to believe that counseling worked because of the counselors I'd been to in the past. In a very short period of time I found myself opening up and talking about things that I thought would take months and months, if not years, to get to. My experience at the VOC was the best thing that could have happened to me. Because of my time at the VOC and in sessions with Jennifer (DeLucia), I was able to work through my demons from my past and learn ways to continue to deal with them in the future. I viewed my life in a different light and I was able to move forward for the first time in many years. If it weren't for the VOC none of these things would be happening for me. I owe my livelihood to Jennifer and the VOC and I can't thank you enough. You have changed my life for the better in more ways than any of you could ever know."
Jason, an Art Therapy client, has reunited with his wife and is furthering his civilian education to obtain a Para-medicine Degree.