Greetings from IDVA,

 

Dir. BorggrenWelcome to the first installment of our new monthly newsletter, "Illinois Veteran News."

 

This is a first step toward what we hope will be increasingly robust communication and collaboration with all of our government and community partners in the months to come. Please feel free to forward and share this with fellow veteran organizations and individual veterans in your networks.

 

As you may know, we have a new senior leadership team here at IDVA - from me, to Assistant Director Rodrigo Garcia, to Chief of Staff Simon Wlodarski. All of us are honored to be working with you and on behalf of the Illinois Veteran community. 

 

Expect more to follow in the months to come on some of our strategic priorities and upcoming events and opportunities. In the meantime, best wishes for a great holiday season - and thanks for what each of you does for Illinois' veterans.

 

Sincerely,

Erica Borggren

Director
Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs 

Veterans Cash - Help Spread the Word!

Through the Illinois Lottery's "Veterans Cash" scratch-off tickets, on sale now for $3 at lottery vendors throughout Illinois, players have the chance to win up to $40,000. The real winners, however, are Illinois' veterans, as 100% of proceeds are awarded in grant monies to organizations serving veterans in the areas of medical care, post-traumatic stress, disability benefits, and housing assistance services. 

 

Help us spread the word in this important program, through which more than $9 million have gone toward assisting Illinois veterans. Also, organizations are encouraged to apply for grants through the application at the Veterans Cash website.

 

This month, IDVA announced more than $140,000 in grants from pervious ticket sales. Grantees include:

  • EdgeAlliance--$67,669 to support low income and homeless veterans at Alpha House, which is located in Chicago's North Lawndale community. The grant will fund facility renovation in order to house veterans with critical needs.
  • Evanston Vet Center--$17,550 to support two separate psychologist-led therapeutic programs designed to help female veterans and couples.
  • Matthew House--$55,850 to support efforts to aid and assist homeless veterans on Chicago's South Side. The award includes educational and vocational training, rental assistance, and transportation assistance for veterans in their programs. Matthew House accepts referrals from Jesse Brown VA Medical Center, Featherfist, Hines VA Medical Center, and the Haymarket Center.
Maintenance Fees - We Need Your Feedback

One of IDVA's core missions is providing quality long-term care for the nearly 1,000 heroes residing at Illinois' four Veterans Homes. 

 

To ensure we can continue serving the number of veterans we do, IDVA is exploring the possibility of increasing in the income-based maintenance fees paid by our residents; these fees have been capped at $929 per month since 1979.

 

At the request of IDVA, the Illinois Veterans' Advisory Council (IVAC) will be hosting open public forums in December at each home to solicit input and advice from veteran and advocacy communities:

  • Anna: Sunday, December 4th at 1 p.m. in Large Activity Room
  • Quincy: Tuesday, December 6th at 6 p.m. in Lippincott Hall
  • LaSalle: Thursday, December 8th at 6 p.m. in Huntington Hall
  • Manteno: Saturday, December 10th at 2:30 p.m. in Veterans Hall
Veteran of the Month Award

The Veteran of the Month award highlights the work of community activists who also happen to be military veterans. Each month, on behalf of Governor Pat Quinn, IDVA Director Erica Borggren recognizes a different person or group that contributes to the betterment of communities across Illinois. 

 

Pictured (from left) are: Bob Gibson, WWII veteran and Veteran of the Month for November; Erica Borggren, IDVA Director; State Rep. Jack Franks; and U.S. Cong. Joe Walsh.

December Ceremony 

Thanks to the generosity of Chicago's Pritzker Military Library, IDVA will be honoring the entire 2011 class of Veterans of the Month during a ceremony on Dec. 16th.

 

Governor Quinn and Dir. Borggren will be on hand to highlight the contributions of previous winners and those of Jack Amberg, December's honoree, who serves as Senior Director Veteran Programs for the McCormick Foundation.

 

If you're interest in attending the Pritzker event, please contact IDVA's Chris Miller at (312) 814-5538 or by email, chris.miller@illinois.gov.

 

To nominate a "Veteran of the Month," please visit IDVA's website to obtain a list of guidelines and a nomination form.

In This Issue
Veterans Cash
Maintenance Fees
Veteran of the Month
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Veteran of the Month