Public, Society Benefit

UNITED STATES VETERANS INITIATIVE (U.S.VETS)

aka U.S.VETS

Los Angeles, CA

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. To meet the needs of an ever changing veteran population, U.S.VETS offers services specifically targeted to Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom (OIF/OEF) veterans; female veterans with children; female victims of military sexual trauma; and non-custodial fathers. U.S.VETS homelessness prevention programs include: 1) the Career Development Initiative (CDI), recipient of 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"; 2) Outside the Wire, providing preventative and early mental health counseling to student veterans attending community colleges in Southern California; and 3) Supportive Services for Veteran Families, providing temporary assistance to at-risk, low-income veteran families in an effort to keep them from becoming homeless;. In the area of suicide prevention, U.S.VETS launched Project “About Face" , in 2015 to provide outreach and support to female veterans at-risk of suicide and is preparing to launch a Los Angeles pilot -- Women Vets on Point--in collaboration with EDC. U.S.VETS also serves as the lead nonprofit agency providing services to the more than 400,000 U.S. military veterans, dependents, and survivors residing in Los Angeles County at a one-stop service center for veterans at Patriotic Hall in downtown Los Angeles.

Notes from the Nonprofit

Eighty-eight 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

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

Keywords

homeless veterans, military veterans, veteran families, post 9/11 veterans, Iraq veterans, Aghanistan veterans, disabled veterans, homeless, housing, female veterans, employment, mental health

EIN

95-4382752

 Number

8055160124

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Military/Veterans' Organizations (W30)

Homeless Services/Centers (P85)

Employment Procurement Assistance and Job Training (J20)

IRS Filing Requirement

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

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Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve New!

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Our programs

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

ADVANCE & Women with Children

Career Development Initiative (CDI)

Veterans in Progress (VIP)

Outside the Wire - Mental Health

Veterans Re-Entry Project (VRP)

Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF)

Permanent Housing Program

Father's Program

Supportive Independent Living (Disabled Veterans & Seniors)

Chronically Homeless (CHAMPS Program)

Outreach to Homeless Veterans

About Face - Suicide Preventon for Female Veterans

Women Vets on Point (WVOP)

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Our Results

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one. These quantitative program results are self-reported by the organization, illustrating their committment to transparency, learning, and interest in helping the whole sector learn and grow.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Number of homeless participants engaged in housing services

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

Homeless people,

Veterans,

People with disabilities

Context notes

Number of homeless clients served through transitional housing programs.

Number of homeless participants engaged in mental health services

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

Economically disadvantaged, low-income, and poor people,

Unemployed, underemployed, and dislocated people,

Veterans

Context notes

Clients in all U.S.VETS residential programs receive case management/counseling.

Number of clients in residential care

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

Unemployed, underemployed, and dislocated people,

Veterans,

People with disabilities

Context notes

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

Number of meals served or provided

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

Unemployed, underemployed, and dislocated people,

Veterans,

People with disabilities

Context notes

Meals provided to homeless veterans and their families.

Number of clients served

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

Economically disadvantaged, low-income, and poor people,

Veterans,

People with disabilities

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

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

Unemployed, underemployed, and dislocated people,

Veterans

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

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

Students,

Veterans

Related program

Outside the Wire - Mental Health

Context notes

#Student veterans attending College receiving free mental health counseling through U.S.VETS Outside the Wire. This program also trains mental health professionals in combat related mental h/care

Charting Impact

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have and haven't they accomplished so far?

Vision: All veterans and their families shall have their needs met to regain and maintain productive independence. Mission: 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 3,000 veterans a day. Need: 62,000 veterans are homeless on any given night. While Vietnam/post-Vietnam veterans are at greatest risk, Afghanistan and Iraq veterans often have severe disabilities correlated with homelessness. And as the military evolves, so too do the challenges. Homeless female veterans are on the rise – increasing from 150 in 2006 to an estimated 10,000 today. About 53% of individual homeless veterans have disabilities, compared with 41% of homeless non-veterans. Every day, 22 veterans take their own lives. That's a suicide every 65 minutes. Breaking – and preventing –this cycle requires addressing a wide range of needs and connecting warriors with quality community resources. Emergency shelters/crisis centers provide immediate interventions. The VA offers short-term solutions and can't keep pace with demand. Employment programs frequently do not address the critical issue of retention. None of these options alone is able to ensure the long-term self-sufficiency of veterans and their families. U.S.VETS is committed to utilizing evidence-based practices grounded in sound research substantiated by field experience to serve the greatest number of veterans. The following aspirations will guide our efforts over the coming five years: (a) national CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) accreditation, international accreditation at all sites ensuring operations and clinical services are among the industry leaders; (b) growing and diversifying revenue, providing opportunities for all residents, foundations and businesses to participate in the U.S.VETS mission; (c) proactively addressing, locally and nationally, shifts in homeless strategies and policies to meet the needs of the greatest number of homeless and at-risk veterans.

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.
Since inception, U.S.VETS has engaged over 118,000 veterans, provided residential services to nearly 45,000 veterans and placed 12,000 veterans into jobs.

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 20+ 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. Steve Peck, President and CEO, is a recipient of the Meritorious Service Award from the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans and was featured on NBC Nightly News' “Making a Difference" segment which aired in January 2014.

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' approach is outcomes driven. Successful program performance is determined by data that indicates steps towards self-sufficiency: remaining stable in housing, obtaining employment, maintaining sobriety, and transitioning to permanent housing. This is assessed through monthly performance and fiscal reporting that is overseen by the Executive Director, the Chief Operating Officer, and the Vice President of National Evaluations. Outcomes are regularly reported to the Board of Directors and funders. To ensure the efficacy and efficiency of the programs, executive and program staff meets regularly through local meetings, weekly conference calls, and quarterly and annual conferences to assess the monthly data reports, share anecdotal evidence, review best practices, and reevaluate core competencies to make program adjustments as necessary.

The organization continues to grow its programs and services assisting homeless and at-risk veterans.
Last year, U.S.VETS touched the lives of over 20,774 veterans and families: engaging 8,540 homeless veterans through outreach, serving 6,536 veterans through residential programs, placing 1,395 Veterans into living wage jobs, serving 631,236 meals and providing supportive services to 3,344 Veteran Families. U.S.VETS continues to expand its Board and grow community support –the number of donors and friends engaged with U.S.VETS has more than doubled over the past two years.

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 20+ 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 disproportionally 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.

External Reviews

Awards & Accreditations

CARF

Affiliations & Memberships

Association of Fundraising Professionals - Member

Better Business Bureau

Combined Federal Campaign

National Coalition of Homeless Veterans

Photos

Financials

UNITED STATES VETERANS INITIATIVE (U.S.VETS)

Fiscal year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

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Operations

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

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Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

BOARD ORIENTATION & 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 & 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

In order to support nonprofits and gain valuable insight for the sector, GuideStar worked with D5—a five-year initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—in creating a questionnaire. This section is a voluntary questionnaire that empowers organizations to share information on the demographics of who works in and leads organizations. To protect the identity of individuals, we do not display sexual orientation or disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff. Any values displayed in this section are percentages of the total number of individuals in each category (e.g. 20% of all Board members for X organization are female).

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Gender

Race & Ethnicity

Sexual Orientation

This organization reports that it does not collect this information.

Disability

This organization reports that it does not collect this information.

Diversity Strategies

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We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
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We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
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We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
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We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
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We have a diversity committee in place
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We have a diversity manager in place
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We have a diversity plan
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We use other methods to support diversity
Diversity notes from the nonprofit
Retention, income levels and age tracking of staff by Human Resources. Board diversity is managed by the Board of Directors.