GOLD2024

Connecticut Veterans Legal Center

Removing legal barriers for Veterans.

aka NA   |   West Haven, CT   |  https://ctveteranslegal.org/

Learn how to support this organization

Mission

Connecticut Veterans Legal Centers mission is to empower, support, and improve the lives of Connecticut Veterans by providing free legal assistance to help them overcome legal barriers to housing, healthcare, income, and recovery.

Ruling year info

2010

Executive Director

Alison Weir

Main address

114 Boston Post Road, Ground Floor

West Haven, CT 06516 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

27-0963659

NTEE code info

Legal Services (I80)

Disabled Persons' Rights (R23)

Homeless Services/Centers (P85)

IRS filing requirement

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

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2022, 2021 and 2019.
Register now

Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Who WE ARE: 1. CVLC is a medical-legal partnership. That means legal services are fully integrated into medical and mental health care for our clients. 2. We partner with the VA and work closely with the mental health clinicians and social work clinicians. 3. CVLC is the only organization in Connecticut that targets the legal needs of indigent and low-income veterans. AND we are the only organization in the state that provides legal assistance with veteran-specific issues, such as VA benefits and discharge upgrades. Who We serve CVLC serves low-income veterans recovering from homelessness and serious mental illness in the state of Connecticut. Need: • Legal Barriers are 6 out the 10 highest unmet needs among homeless veterans • CVLC has to turn away 2/3 as many veterans as we are able to serve • Evictions this time of year increase by 20% What We do: We represent veterans to help improve income, increase housing stability, or provide access to health care.

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?

Removing Legal Barriers

CVLC's Removing Legal Barriers program provides free legal assistance to veterans in recovery from homelessness, mental illness and substance abuse to help them overcome legal barriers to housing, healthcare and income. Since 2009, CVLC has worked in medical-legal partnership with the VA Errera Community Care Center (ECCC) in West Haven. CVLC’s medical-legal partnership with the ECCC integrates legal assistance into the network of services provided to veterans by the VA and other agencies. While the VA Connecticut Healthcare System provides quality medical, mental health and rehabilitation services to eligible veterans, it provides no legal assistance. CVLC is the only organization in Connecticut that targets the legal needs of indigent veterans and the only organization in the state that provides legal assistance with veteran- specific issues, including VA benefits and discharge upgrades.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Seniors

The burdens of military service are particularly heavy for veterans with a “less than honorable” discharge from the military. Each year, the Department of Defense erroneously denies service members an “honorable” discharge, often because of behaviors symptomatic of PTSD. These veterans are more likely to commit suicide, become homeless, and to be involved in the criminal justice system as other veterans. Racial minorities, sexual assault survivors, LGBTQ veterans, and service members with mental health disabilities are disproportionately less than honorably discharged. Such “bad paper discharges” can make veterans ineligible for VA educational, medical, or disability benefits and make it harder for them to secure civilian jobs. Some of the most injured veterans in New Haven are denied care right now because of wartime mental injuries. CVLC's Military Records Correction Program is working to fix this injustice.

Population(s) Served
People with psychosocial disabilities
Incarcerated people

Where we work

Awards

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 people in the area with access to affordable housing as a result of the nonprofit's efforts

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

Adults, Military personnel, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Removing Legal Barriers

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

CVLC represents low income veterans in housing court, staving off eviction and creating orderly transition to affordable or supported housing. CVLC has a 90% success rate.

Number of clients referred to other services as part of their support strategy

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

Economically disadvantaged people, Homeless people, Military personnel

Related Program

Removing Legal Barriers

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Every veteran that is referred to CVLC for legal assistance, who does not become a client is provided with referrals to social service or other legal aid organizations.

Number of adults with disabilities receiving sufficient social and emotional support

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

Adults, Economically disadvantaged people, Military personnel

Related Program

Military Records Corrections

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

CVLC is the only organization in Connecticut that represents veterans to the VA and DoD to obtain their benefits and to correct unjust discharge status that result in denail of benefits.

Number of clients with access to pension benefits

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

Adults, Economically disadvantaged people, Military personnel

Related Program

Removing Legal Barriers

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

CVLC lifts veterans out of poverty by securing their rightful VA disability pensions. Average award was $18,530 annual income.

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.

CVLC's mission is to help veterans recovering from homelessness and serious mental illness overcome legal barriers to housing, healthcare and income. Since 2009, CVLC has co-located and collaborated with the VA CT's Errera Community Care Center to create the country's first VA medical-legal partnership. In 2014, CVLC added the VA's Newington facility as a second VA medical-legal partnership location for on-site services. CVLC's attorneys work in interdisciplinary teams with VA clinicians to solve legal problems that affect veteran recovery and access to stable housing, healthcare, and income.

Since its founding, CVLC has served over 2,000 veterans since its inception in 2009 with more than 3,000 individual legal issues. CVLC helps veterans most in need; over half of CVLC's clients are homeless or recently homeless, all experience mental illness and/or substance abuse, and their median income is approximately $15,000 per year.

The CVLC's staff and volunteers meet with clients within the community-based therapeutic setting of the VA Connecticut's Errera Community Care Center. Unlike other legal services programs in the state that rely on phone intake, CVLC staff and volunteers meet with veterans in person. This in-person interaction is critical to the CVLC's success in serving the homeless and mentally ill who have traditionally been difficult for legal services to reach. Meeting these veterans in person in a supportive environment is critical to building a relationship of trust. Meeting veterans on-site gives CVLC staff and volunteers immediate access to the caseworkers, social workers and nurses who work with these veterans on their mental health, housing and employment issues.

This collaboration is incredibly useful to our clients in a number of ways. First, it makes the intake and assessment of veteran's legal issues much easier as CVLC's staff and volunteers can quickly get up to speed on a client's history, issues, records and what options have already been explored. Second, it allows for very comprehensive planning, for example, a social worker may work to secure new housing for a veteran while a CVLC staff member or volunteer stalls an eviction, or a social worker may file a hardship waiver for a denial of benefits while a CVLC staff member or volunteer works to appeal the benefits denial. Meeting veterans on-site has the additional benefit of making follow-up visits easy to coordinate. Unlike in traditional legal services offices where attorneys ask their clients to come to them, the CVLC's attorneys and volunteers are physically co-located with the other service providers working with these veterans. This means there are very few missed appointments with our clients, who are often already at the facility on any given day for other services. It also means that following up with clients who have missed appointments is as easy as running into them in the hallway; it does not require extensive scheduling over the phone or through the mail.

CVLC leverages its resources by connecting hundreds of veterans with pro bono attorneys every year. To meet its goal of helping vulnerable veterans achieve stable housing, healthcare and income, CVLC provides assistance with landlord-tenant and other housing matters, VA and Social Security issues, restoring drivers' licenses, expunging criminal records, and reducing consumer, student loan and child support debts. CVLC also helps veterans access VA care and benefits by helping veterans petition for military discharge upgrades.

We maintain a volunteer database of 600 attorneys who have agreed to take on referral cases.

CVLC opened 511 cases in fiscal year 2016 and closed 567. The successful outcomes of these cases had enormous benefit to veterans and their families. When a CVLC attorney provided full representation, 80% of cases resulted in a positive mission furthering outcome, regardless of the type of legal issue. For the 2015-2016 fiscal year, CVLC's closed VA Benefits cases for 17 veterans that will bring in $2.2 million in the next ten years, 85% of CVLC full representation landlord tenant cases increased housing stability for veterans, and CVLC attorneys improved access to free high-quality lifetime healthcare from the VA for 20 veterans. In April 2015, CVLC proudly accepted the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Community Partnership Award for its groundbreaking medical-legal partnership with the VA CT's Errera Community Care Center.

CVLC is working to continue to expand services throughout Connecticut. In the Spring of 2017, big steps were taken towards this goal as CVLC hired a new attorney who will be based at VA CT's Newington Campus and serve veterans in the greater Hartford region.

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

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

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

Connecticut Veterans Legal Center
lock

Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.

Subscribe

Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our monthly plan today.

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

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights?
Learn more about GuideStar Pro.

Operations

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

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

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

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

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

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Connecticut Veterans Legal Center

Board of directors
as of 05/24/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Kevin Lenehan

Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation

Term: 2020 - 2024

Kathleen Tourjee

Moses Weitzman Health Systems

Brian Pierne

Deloitte

Amy Antioho

Veterans Advocate

Thomas M. Armas

Allied Restoration and Construction, LLC

Mike Cabrey

Retired, Veteran

Joseph J. Cherico

McCarter & English, LLP

Margaret Donovan

United States Attorneys Office, District of Connecticut

Paul Greatsinger

Morgan Stanley Wealth Management

Brian Hughes

Deep Hollow Farm

Daniel Kazup

KPMG US

Komla Matrevi

State of Connecticut, Social Equity Council, Department of Economic and Community Development

William Pieper

Retired, Veteran

Jeffrey A. Udell

Walden, Macht & Haran, LLP

Tiffany Lau

Yale School of Business

Kiana Makris

Yale School of Business

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 1/25/2024

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

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

Transgender Identity

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data