Nonprofits Receiving NYC Funds

Nonprofits Receiving NYC Funds

In the new Fiscal Year 2016 budget, the City Council has issued $940,000 in discretionary funds to nonprofits serving veterans for its Veterans Services program. Another $150,000+ in discretionary funds allocated by individual City Council members have been issued to other organizations across the five boroughs for stated purposes related to veterans. MOVA has no official role in the expenditure or oversight of these funds, and agencies that may have no knowledge of veterans services may be assigned minimal oversight. 

This amount is substantially increased from the $400,000 in discretionary funds that had been allocated for Veterans Services in Fiscal Year 2015. The NYC Veterans Alliance has, however, recommended increased and centralized oversight of these funds.

Below are the most recent posts, statements, and recommendations the NYC Veterans Alliance has made on this issue:


 

On Monday, September 21, the Manhattan VA Medical Center held its annual Community Mental Health Summit, where VA administrators sought to improve understanding and communication between the VA and service providers and veterans within the community. The event was held in Atrium A (the main conference center), and was well-attended by a large audience made up mostly of service providers from non-VA programs and nonprofits in the area. The program as a whole was informative and interactive, but left us with many questions about how much community input would go toward actual changes at the Manhattan VAMC, or whether there will be follow-up with community members about what was discussed.


Last week the City Council released the list of organizations to receive discretionary funds for Fiscal Year 2016 for providing veterans services. These are critical funds, and organizations have provided valuable direct assistance and services to veterans in NYC. These funds provided by the City Council are entirely separate from the budget of the Mayor's Office of Veterans Affairs (MOVA), and are not overseen in any formal way by MOVA.


Following pressure from the NYC Veterans Alliance, the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, and veterans and advocates across NYC, our city government has responded by including more funding for veterans and veterans services in the 2016 budget. This is truly an important step forward, and we appreciate the many City Council members who pushed for the funding increase, and we appreciate that Mayor de Blasio has, at long last, finally supported these additions to the budget. But we must be clear: NYC still has a long way yet to go before we can declare victory.


Advocates have proposed that veteran service organizations (VSOs) receiving NYC tax dollars to provide services to veterans should be held accountable for the services they provide and to NYC veterans spanning across all demographic groups and generations of service. This initiative ranked second in receiving the strongest support of the sixteen listed in the survey. A total of 94.26% of respondents indicated that they view this as either essential or very important.


Last night was the first NYC Veterans Advisory Board meeting ever open to the public. We applaud the important reforms that led to this meeting, and to the appointment of new VAB members. Previous members of the VAB were present, as well as new members. The meeting was chaired by the Commissioner of the Mayor's Office of Veterans Affairs (MOVA), Loree Sutton.


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