UNITED STATES VETERANS INITIATIVE (U.S.VETS)

Serving Those Who Served

aka U.S.VETS   |   Los Angeles, CA   |  www.usvetsinc.org

Mission

U.S.VETS mission is the successful transition of military veterans and their families through the provision of housing, counseling, career development, and comprehensive support. U.S.VETS is the largest veteran-specific non-profit housing and service provider in the country with 10 sites in five states (AZ, CA, HI, NV, and TX) and the District of Columbia. Since its inception in 1993, U.S.VETS has engaged over 135,000 veterans, provided residential services to nearly 50,000 veterans and placed 13,000 veterans into jobs. Core services include supportive transitional and permanent housing and employment assistance to help homeless and at-risk veterans achieve self-sufficiency.

Notes from the nonprofit

Eighty-six cents of every dollar donated to U.S.VETS goes directly to programs and services. Please visit our website for additional information: http://www.usvetsinc.org/

Ruling year info

1992

President & CEO

Mr. Stephen J Peck

Chief Operating Officer

Mr. Darryl Vincent

Main address

800 West Sixth Street Suite 1505

Los Angeles, CA 90017 USA

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EIN

95-4382752

NTEE code info

Military/Veterans' Organizations (W30)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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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?

ADVANCE & Women with Children

Established in 2001 in California and recently expanded to Hawaii, ADVANCE is the first program of its kind addressing sexual trauma in homeless female veterans. Program components cover a full spectrum of female veterans’ needs, and include: Trauma Track; Work Re-entry Track; Life Plan Track (for the disabled); Substance Abuse Treatment Track and the Women with Children Track. Veterans’ children have access to a school, playground and weekend activities.

Population(s) Served

Launched in 2011 at U.S.VETS headquarters in Los Angeles with support from JPMorgan Chase and the Carl & Roberta Deutsch Foundation, U.S.VETS Career Development Initiative (CDI) provides career placement assistance with a focus on Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. In November 2013, the program earned the Call of Duty Endowment’s Seal of Distinction, recognizing CDI as one of the “most effective and efficient programs in the country placing veterans into high quality careers.” In March 2014, CDI received the National Guard’s Above and Beyond award in recognition of the program’s successful track record of placing National Guard members into long-term employment. CDI increases employment opportunities and income for unemployed and under-employed military veterans through targeted business development across industry sectors, effective collaboration with other nonprofit providers, long-term post employment follow up and building linkages between employers, veterans and training/certification assistance. In June 2014, CDI expanded to U.S.VETS sites in Houston, TX; Washington, D.C.; Phoenix, AZ and Barbers Point, HI with a goal of placing 400 veterans per year.

Population(s) Served

The goal of VIP is to help veterans maintain residential stability, achieve greater self-determination, and increase skills and/or income. The program provides a broad range of support including case management, life skills classes, workforce readiness, legal and residential assistance, and sobriety support groups for veterans with addiction issues. Homeless veterans are given the tools they need to become self-sufficient and rebuild their lives.

Population(s) Served

U.S.VETS' Outside the Wire is a preventative mental health program providing targeted outreach and mental health counseling to returning veterans and their families. Based at Patriotic Hall in downtown Los Angeles, the program works collaboratively with the USC School of Social Work, Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Long Beach Community College, Santa Monica Community College, Pasadena City College, Los Angeles City College, West Los Angeles City College, El Camino City College, Cerritos Community College, Cypress Community College, and L.A. Technical School and is expanding programs in Orange County, CA. The program addresses post 9/11 veterans’ unmet need for preventative and/or early mental health treatment due to service-related psychological injuries, i.e.; post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and major depression, as a result of experiences in war. All services are provided to veterans and family members at no cost. Outside the Wire also provides training in combat related mental health issues and military cultural sensitivity to psychology doctoral candidates and MSW interns, broadening the network of providers with expertise to help the Los Angeles community’s armed forces personnel, military veterans, and their families manage the pressures of military life and post-war adjustments.

Population(s) Served

Veterans Reentry Project (VRP), at U.S.VETS – Long Beach, targets the special needs of at-risk veterans recently separated from military service. Veterans receive case management, employment services, peer support, resource information, referrals to the VA and community-based programs, and educational and therapeutic groups to address the transition from military life to the civilian community. The goals of the program are to improve the health of this vulnerable veteran population by addressing military service members’ unmet need for treatment due to service-related psychological injuries, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), and major depression, as a result of experiences in in the military and combat.

Population(s) Served

Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) helps low income veteran families transition to permanent housing and ensures that those at risk of homelessness are able to maintain their current housing. SSVF takes a holistic approach to ensure that families are able to maintain housing stability. The program provides outreach services, case management, assistance with obtaining VA benefits, and assistance with obtaining other public benefits as well as temporary financial assistance (e.g. rental assistance, security deposit, etc.), housing assistance, job readiness training, financial literacy and money management training, and legal assistance to increase the long term housing stability of veteran families.

Population(s) Served

U.S.VETS' Permanent Housing Program provides rental assistance subsidies and supportive services including outreach, case management, sobriety support and participation in therapeutic groups for veterans who are homeless and have a medically certified disability. The goals of the program are housing retention, increased income and benefits and increased self determination.

Population(s) Served

The goal of U.S.VETS' Father's Program is to reconnect noncustodial fathers with their children. The program provides the same services as the Veterans in Progress program with additional services such as parenting, fatherhood education and managing conflict. Additionally, fathers take responsibility for child support payments.

Population(s) Served

Provides intensive services to disabled veterans and seniors with disabilities. Veterans receive one-on-one case management and support from educational and therapeutic groups including money management, managing mental and physical health, problem solving, social skills and healthy recreation.

Population(s) Served

Permanent supportive housing program specializing in providing rental assistance subsidies and long-term supportive services including outreach, case management, sobriety support and participation in therapeutic groups for homeless veterans who qualify as chronically homeless and have a medically certified disability.

Population(s) Served

U.S.VETS has a unique capacity and a wealth of experience conducting outreach to veterans. Many homeless and at-risk veterans are reluctant to seek out needed services because of bad experiences with the “system.” U.S. VETS’ outreach team builds trust by meeting homeless veterans where they currently reside. Over 50% of the homeless veterans served by this project previously lived on the streets, under bridges, in emergency shelters, or in other places not meant for human habitation; the remainder come from treatment programs or housing for persons who originally came from the streets or shelters. U.S.VETS’ county-wide outreach teams (which include formerly homeless veterans) make regular visits to agencies and community based organizations in communities throughout the country (CA, AZ, DC, NV, MO, TX, HI). Outreach staff attend service provider meetings in the community and make presentations to promote program awareness at seminars and conferences related to homeless veterans. The team organizes quarterly outreach and project awareness workshops in parks, on beaches, and other gathering places for the homeless. U.S.VETS has staff designated to conduct weekly outreach meetings and recruit veterans from local Military Community Relation Offices and Military Installations, coordinate partnerships with local Veterans service providers and VSO's, participate in the local Veterans Employment Committees (VEC), and outreach at all veteran job fairs. Staff coordinate all activity with EDD, VESS, VWS and TAP trainers. Outreach personnel also work through the local EDD one stop centers to identify and receive any recently separated veterans.

Population(s) Served

U.S.VETS’ Project “About Face” is a program to help military women with suicidal ideations. Launched in November 2015 with support from the Pulitzer Foundation, the program:
• Engages veteran women at military bases, Yellow Ribbon events, hospitals, homeless shelters, churches, community centers, schools, etc.
• Identifies veteran women who are homeless, sick, suffering with economic, medical or social problems
• Assesses the needs of targeted women:
• Those who are presenting imminent suicidal ideations
• Those who are contemplating suicide (but not yet at the threshold)
• Those who are suffering with depression or other chronic conditions
• Connects the veteran to appropriate assistance. Program staff make sure that women veterans with suicidal ideations are not left alone, facilitate their connection to appropriate mental health services, continue to follow up with the care provider and veteran and maintains records of the process and outcomes.

The program works collaboratively with other service providers to provide triage 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Population(s) Served

U.S.VETS is in the process of securing funding to launch Women Vets on Point, a Los Angeles pilot project that will provide mental health outreach and promote treatment engagement by Women Veterans. The project, to be conducted in collaboration with EDC, is also designed to engage other mental health providers and provide a platform for sharing best practices.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Accreditations

CARF 2016

Awards

Call of Duty Seal of Distinction 2013

Seal of Approval

Unsung Hero Award 2008

National Coalition of Homeless Veterans

Seal of Distinction 2014

Call of Duty Endowment

Affiliations & memberships

Better Business Bureau 2017

Combined Federal Campaign 2017

National Coalition of Homeless Veterans 2017

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 homeless participants engaged in housing services

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

No target populations selected

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of homeless clients served through transitional housing programs.

Number of clients in residential care

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

No target populations selected

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Includes transitional, permanent and long-term supportive housing clients.

Number of clients served

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

No target populations selected

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Include homeless clients engaged through outreach, clients served in residential programs, mental health counseling in the community, employment services and supportive services to veteran families.

Number of participants who gain employment

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

No target populations selected

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Formerly homeless clients receiving services through our residential facilities and at-risk veterans served through the Career Development Initiative.

Number of people who received clinical mental health care

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

No target populations selected

Related Program

Outside the Wire - Mental Health

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Free mental health counseling through U.S.VETS Outside the Wire. Mental health professionals in trauma-informed mental health care.

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.

U.S.VETS' mission is the successful transition of military veterans and their families through the provision of housing, counseling, career development and comprehensive support. U.S.VETS is unique in its comprehensive approach, offering evidence-based practices that address the needs of returning military personnel in the context of their families and communities. We strategically partner with governmental and non-profit organizations, universities and others to assist the greatest number of at-risk veterans and families, filling service gaps while avoiding duplication of services. By locating services in multiple locations, access to services is improved, overcoming the fragmented service delivery veterans typically receive and alongside it, the inclination to avoid seeking assistance. U.S.VETS' programs are a national model of best practice, successfully leveraging the existing infrastructure by connecting military installations and established community organizations to meet the needs of returning troops and their families. U.S.VETS' serves more than 5,000 veterans a day through housing, employment, mental health, case management, and other supportive services.

The strategies guiding our long-term plan are based on U.S.VETS' understanding of the issues facing at-risk service members and 20+ years of experience developing evidence-based practices that address the needs of returning military personnel in the context of their families and communities: : 1)Develop a National CARF accreditation team to establish universal A.S.P.I.R.E. standards; achieve CARF accreditation at each U.S.VETS site by 2018; 2)Expand services for female veterans to each location, using U.S.VETS' well established ADVANCE program as a model; 3)Expand evidence based approaches to veteran homelessness prevention; 4)Share organizational best practices by function; develop a universal operational manual of best management, clinical, and operational practices, policies and procedures; 5) Unify/codify U.S. VETS' administrative policies and procedures nationally and develop technologies and strategies to ensure national adoption and appropriate updates are in place; 6)Conduct periodic clinical program evaluations to ensure U.S. VETS is meeting the current veterans' needs based on era of service, current types of disorders and gender appropriate responses; 7) Expand internal communication within U.S. VETS that includes technology, shared best practices between sites, corporate-wide recognition for employees and staff development; 8) Expand permanent housing to 50% of U.S.VETS' bed inventory within the next five years; 9)Develop a continuum of care at each location that offers prevention, rapid rehousing, emergency, transitional, and permanent housing beds and services for all veterans; 10) Continue to partner with other providers in order to ensure veterans can access mainstream services (especially permanent housing) where they would otherwise be excluded and/or overlooked; 11) Embrace and implement the Housing First approach using a scattered site model; 12) Develop national fundraising and marketing plans to grow revenue, diversify funding requests and increase local sites' involvement in fundraising and marketing efforts; expand site Advisory Boards.

Homelessness prevention efforts will remain a key element of our work. These programs currently include: (1) the Career Development Initiative (CDI), winner of the Call of Duty Seal of Distinction, recognizing CDI as “one of the most cost-effective programs in the country putting vets back to work"; (2) Outside the Wire, providing free mental health counseling to veterans transitioning from the battlefield to the classroom; and (3) Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF), providing temporary assistance to at-risk, low-income veteran families in an effort to keep them from becoming homeless.

U.S.VETS' 25+ years of experience, strong collaborative relationships and dedicated board will continue to be invaluable in achieving our long-term objectives. A nationally-recognized leader in program development and service delivery, U.S.VETS has a history of innovation including development of a model dual-diagnosis program to address co-morbid mental illness and substance abuse among veterans, and creation of ADVANCE, the first-of-its-kind program addressing military sexual trauma in female veterans.

As the largest veteran specific non-profit service provider in the country with multiple sites in five states and the District of Columbia, U.S.VETS has the unique ability to create programs and activities at scale to effect change for the maximum number of veterans, as well as the programmatic capacity, military cultural competency and robust services to meet the varied needs of a heterogeneous veteran population. The organization's programs are innovative, collaborative efforts that mobilize multiple stakeholders in the community to work together to eradicate veteran homelessness. While U.S.VETS' list of partner organizations is too large to share here, some recognizable partners include Goodwill Industries; Salvation Army; University of Southern California; Chicago School of Professional Psychology; U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Labor; Workforce Investment Boards; Washington D.C. Partnership for the Prevention of Homelessness; area Chambers of Commerce; and regional Continuums of Care. U.S.VETS works synergistically with VA regional hospitals, local clinics and benefits offices to provide seamless care, maintaining close working relationships with VA staff to eliminate wait times and bureaucratic difficulties. The organization also works with employers across the country, expanding the network of companies interested in hiring veterans. In 2014, U.S.VETS was selected by the County of Los Angeles to serve as the lead agency at the historic Bob Hope Patriotic Hall. In this role, U.S.VETS collaborates with the County of Los Angeles' Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and the Department of Mental Health to provide high quality, health and human services to the more than 400,000 U.S. military veterans, dependents, and survivors residing in Los Angeles County.

U.S.VETS' Board of Directors embody the attributes of the veterans we serve: dedicated, loyal, and hard-working. Over 60% are veterans representing the last half-century of war eras. Director's expertise spans the fields of law, business, health and human service, finance, accounting, science and technology. U.S.VETS is proud to report that 100% of the Board contributes annually to U.S.VETS.

U.S.VETS mission will be accomplished when no man or woman who has worn the uniform of our country is living on the streets or is struggling to lead a self-sufficient, productive life. The answer is as much about procuring a stable housing situation and clinical support as it is about homeless prevention, career development, job training, and job retention. We have made a significant difference in the lives of veterans and families: engaging over 135,000 veterans through outreach; providing nearly 50,000 veterans with a place to call home and securing living wage employment for over 13,000 veterans. These accomplishments are significant but much remains to be accomplished. In order to realize our ultimate intended impact, U.S.VETS will utilize its 25+ years of experience and lessons learned to address the following obstacles:
• Barriers to obtaining and retaining living wage employment - Gulf War Era II veterans continue to experience higher unemployment rates compared to other veteran and non-veteran demographic segments. Barriers can include mental health issues; lack of formal private sector recognition of their military training, experiences, and skill sets through civilian certification and licensure; lack of career preparation, limited professional networks; and employer misconceptions surrounding PTSD and the difficulty of transitioning from the military to civilian employment.
• Lack of gender-specific housing and tiered support services for homeless women veterans including those with dependent children and victims of Military Sexual Trauma (MST). U.S.VETS' ADVANCE is one of the few programs in the country currently serving this population.
• Need for early mental health treatment for combat related mental health issues - Returning to civilian life after multiple tours in the military is a stressful undertaking for many veterans, and fraught with challenges for the estimated 19% who return with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or major depression and anxiety, and the approximately 20% who have suffered a probable Traumatic Brain Injury during deployment. Studies show that 60% of veterans returning with PTSD will not seek treatment from the VA and those who do seek support may encounter significant delays. Expanded programs that can provide confidential counseling in an unthreatening, veteran friendly environment are needed to reach veterans when they can most benefit from the support.

U.S.VETS is continuing to expand homelessness prevention efforts across the country, develop specialized support for female veterans with dependent children and those impacted by sexual trauma; and grow mental health programs embedded in community colleges, trade schools and universities that engage veterans who might otherwise fall through the cracks. Collaborations with other providers across the nation are continually being sought to avoid duplication of services and meet the needs of the greatest number of veterans.

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 collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Case management notes, Community meetings/Town halls, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees, 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 strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

UNITED STATES VETERANS INITIATIVE (U.S.VETS)
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Operations

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

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • 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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UNITED STATES VETERANS INITIATIVE (U.S.VETS)

Board of directors
as of 10/2/2019
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Joseph Czyzyk

Mercury Air Group Inc.

Herbert Lampert

Lampert & Eskridge, Therapeutic Living Centers, and Vintage Hollywood

Adam Siegler

Greenberg Traurig, LLP, Beverly Hills Bar Association and U.S. Army Reserve

Linda Miles-Mitchell

Arise & Shine Haven for Homeless Women and Children

Stephen Peck

U.S.VETS

Joe Czyzyk

Mercury Air Group, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer

Michael Murray

Verizon, Director Government & Exteranal Affairs

Mike Roos

Mike Roos & Company

Peter Pawling

Major General (Retired), U.S. Airforce

Bob Foster

Mayor, Long Beach, CA (Retired)

Jerold Neuman

Partner, Liner LLP

Jody Breckenridge

VADM (Ret.)

Wilfred Cooper

Founder, Chairman, Director, WNC & Associates, Inc.

David Kirman

Partner, O'Melveny

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