This is a report on the 2015 Survey of NYC Veterans Policy Priorities, a survey that solicited responses to policy initiatives from NYC veterans, service members, family members, and service providers in early 2015.
The purpose of this report is to highlight the results of the survey and to represent survey respondents. It is also intended as a guide for NYC policymakers, urging them to consider specific recommendations for improving policies and programs that affect the lives of NYC veterans, service members, and their families. Background information is provided on each of the policy initiatives to inform these recommendations.
Sixteen proposed or in-progress policy initiatives were presented in the survey, and a majority of respondents indicated strong support for each of them. The majority of comments also showed strong support for these initiatives and other actions to improve policies affecting veterans. Given this strong support, it is clear that veterans, family members, and others connected with veterans who live and work in NYC believe that change in local policy is essential.
Key findings of the survey and report:
- Suicide Prevention is Top Priority. The crisis of veteran suicide appears to be the most urgent priority for survey respondents. The strongest support was given to the initiative proposing to link NYC’s 311 service to the Veterans Crisis Line.
- Improvement of Existing Resources is Needed. The top ten initiatives that respondents indicated were most important to them all involve improvement of existing resources.
- More Resourcing Is Needed for NYC Veterans Affairs. In order to accomplish the many changes called for in this report, NYC government must have an agency dedicated to veterans affairs that is staffed and funded at levels significantly higher than what currently exists.
New York City is the largest city in the U.S. and has the largest municipal government in the U.S., as well as one of the largest populations of veterans. It is essential that New York City properly coordinates and utilizes all available government resources to ensure that veterans, service members, and their families have full access to the recognition, benefits, and services they have earned.