Veteran & Family Support System

Louisville, KY   |


USA Cares' mission is to provide post-9/11 military veterans, service members, and their families with emergency financial assistance and post-service skills training to create a foundation for long-term stability. Our services improve the quality of life for veterans and their families and reduce potential factors that can contribute to veteran suicide.

Ruling year info



Mr. Trace Chesser

Main address

11760 Commonwealth Drive

Louisville, KY 40299 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Kentuckiana Cares

Military Family Assistance Center



NTEE code info

Emergency Assistance (Food, Clothing, Cash) (P60)

Other Housing Support Services (L80)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

For many military service members, the battle doesn't end once their service is over. Adjusting to life as a civilian can be difficult. When service members transition out of the military back into civilian life, they suddenly have obstacles to face while they simultaneously have to deal with the physical and mental disabilities that they may suffer from. In many cases, they have to deal with a loss of their sense of purpose in life. Their military mission is over and they have to find a home, transportation, and a job to pay for everything. They are often unable to translate the skills they obtained while in the military into skills that will pay enough to support them and their families. Sometimes, they lose their way which often results in homelessness or an increased likelihood of suicide.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Military Assistance Response Program

The Military Assistance Response Program helps post-9/11 veterans and service members find the stability they need by removing obstacles to their success and providing financial assistance grants to pay bills essential to their health and well-being (rent, mortgage, utilities, auto, phone, food, etc.). This improves the quality of their lives and prevents evictions, foreclosures, auto repossessions, and utility disconnections. To remove financial barriers to treatment, this program also assists combat injured veterans and veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, and/or military sexual trauma by paying necessary bills while they take time off work to obtain the treatment they need.

Population(s) Served
Military personnel

The Career Transition Assistance Program provides individuals with tools and resources to better prepare them for the hiring process and refers qualified candidates to organizations with open positions of employment specific to their skillsets. This program also helps transitioning service members pay essential bills while they train for a new job or while they wait for their first paycheck, relieving any financial barrier that keeps them from getting a new job or career.

Population(s) Served
Military personnel

Where we work


Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance 2022


Best in America Seal of Approval 2021

America's Best Charities

3-Star Rated Charity 2020

Charity Navigator

Platinum Seal of Transparency 2022


Inc.Credible Award - Nonprofit of the Year 2020

Greater Louisville Inc.

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of Clients' Homes Saved

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Families, Military personnel, Veterans

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Coming home from military service can be painful and difficult and comes with a unique set of challenges. What was once a very structured routine has been turned upside down. There is a lack of organizational infrastructure and veterans now have to make their own decisions. They’ve lost their sense of purpose and direction. This period of transition, whether voluntary or not, can be a daunting task and, for others, a sometimes impossible one. Without support and guidance from friends and family, things can quickly go in the wrong direction.

Our goal is to reach families at the earliest stage of intervention in hopes of preventing further financial distress, depression, suffering, homelessness, or other potential risk factors for suicide. By giving veterans and service members a helping hand with their existing problems, we help restore their financial stability so they can move forward with a renewed sense of purpose on a path toward independence and self-sufficiency, rather than a path toward further hopelessness, depression and despair.

Our services are provided virtually, through phone and internet. The financial assistance provided by USA Cares is given in the form of grants which service members and their families do not have to repay. Financial assistance isn’t given directly to service members or their families, but to mortgage lenders, utility companies, and other vendors. When we’re initially contacted, our caring and experienced case managers respond within 48 hours and work with the service members one-on-one to verify all information provided in the application in order to assist them in finding solutions. The case managers will then submit a request to a virtual committee for approval. The virtual committee is made up of volunteers from a variety of backgrounds and different areas of expertise and can identify solutions case managers may not have been able to identify. The majority of our staff are also veterans or military family members who understand the problems our clients face. So, if we aren’t able to assist them, we work diligently and collaborate with other agencies to find the service member a solution to their problems.

The type of assistance that we provide varies from program to program and from client to client. We act quickly and respond to clients as if every case is an emergent one because we understand that, to them, it is an emergency. No two cases are alike and the assistance that USA Cares provides is tailored to the service member’s particular needs. We may pay their rent or mortgage so they can stay in their home. We may provide fuel cards so they can get to work. We may make car payments to avoid having them repossessed. We may pay their overdue electric or water bills to avoid having their services cut off by the utility companies. We may send food or grocery gift cards so they will not go hungry. We may assist them in updating their resumes to assist in their job searches at a Career & Education Expos to bring employers and job seekers together. We may do a combination of several of the above.

USA Cares operates a Family Resource Center with full time Case Managers and manages a website in which each family approved for assistance is assigned an advocate from our Family Resource Center who assures that assistance is timely and effective. These advocates often mobilize additional support for families from other military assistance groups, and the service member's community of local organizations. Additionally, USA Cares manages a website where applicants and clients are provided with supplementary resources to relieve their particular military-related hardship.

In 2001, the United States was propelled into a state of emergency on 9/11 and its military answered the call. Not long after, USA Cares was formed to help military families in financial crisis and we have done just that. To date, USA Cares has assisted thousands of military families in all 50 states and several U.S. territories across all branches of service with millions of dollars in assistance grants. We’ve provided assistance to members of all branches of service, including Reserves and National Guard. More importantly, we've saved countless lives of service members and the futures of the family members who love them.

Between 2011 and 2022, we provided $10,752,566.26 in financial assistance to help 10,895 military households with 18,848 bills that were essential to their well-being. With those funds, USA Cares made 5,119 payments to save families from homelessness, 3,427 car payments to avoid vehicle repossessions, 5,216 utility bills (including phone and internet) to restore connections, and provided 3,024 gift cards to families for food and/or fuel support.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    We serve any post-9/11 military veteran, active-duty service member, and their families without regard to military rank or branch of service, including Reserves and National Guard.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Case management notes, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    In 2021, we consolidated our Emergency, Housing, and Combat Injured Assistance Programs into one single program named the Military Assistance Response Program in order to be more responsive to the people we serve and improve clarity about the services we provide. We also began requesting clients complete an online satisfaction survey after receiving assistance. These are repeated at 6 months and 12 months following the initial survey.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    The feedback we receive from those we serve has improved our relationship with them. They provide comments and suggestions that are often quite valuable and insightful. Personal information is not included in any information we share to protect the privacy of those we serve.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently, The people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time, It is difficult to get honest feedback from the people we serve, It is difficult to identify actionable feedback,



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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Board of directors
as of 02/14/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Andy Dytrych

Atria Senior Living

Term: 2021 - 2023

Joe Simonelli

Energy Systems Group

Michael Andy Dytrych

Atria Senior Living

Suzanne Bergmeister

Sunflower Business Ventures

Steve Cunanan

Strategic Human Capital Advisor

Daljit Hundal

Hundal Companies

Tim Vibbert

GE Appliances, a Haier Company

Gary Whidden


Mauri Rapuzzzi


Kimberly Jeane


Heidi Richards

Ernst & Young

Richard Hopple

Retired, Guideposts

Ryan Sullivan

Beam Suntory

Todd Wilkowski

Frost, Brown, Todd LLC

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 8/3/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Disability status
Person with a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation

No data


No data