The primary mission of the Columbia Basin Veteran Center is to assist veterans in receiving benefits they’ve earned through their service to our country. However, many folks may not know that we also operate a clean and sober house for veterans going through transitional events in their life and also a home for student veterans using their GI Bill benefits.
In order to be able to serve veterans on a more extensive level, we house counselors and case managers from the Walla Walla Vet’s Center who offer counseling to both combat and sexual trauma vets and their families without cost. Other agencies housed at the Veterans’ Opportunity Center here in Pasco are the Veteran’s Administration HUD VASH Program, which assists in housing homeless veterans in Benton, Franklin and Walla Walla Counties; VetCorps, who advocate for and assist veterans looking for educational opportunities; WorkSource, which assists vets in obtaining employment and skills and DAV that provides assistance for disabled veterans.
We’re also pleased to announce that we have a certified service officer here at VOC four days per week to assist with veterans applying for medical and disability benefits.
CBVC also administers our own Veteran Relief Program, provides periodic Life Skills classes (Budgeting, Landlord/Tenant Laws/Job Finding Skills), hosts a veteran’s closet that provides casual and business clothing to vets as well as hygiene kits.
Through the combined efforts of the agencies and programs housed here at the VOC, we were able to serve veterans with over 2,000 visits and appointments out of this location alone in 2014. We’re serving approximately 40-50 vets here every week. Each year since 2012, we’ve seen these numbers rise by about 40%, and we expect the number of vets that need the services we provide will continue to rise.