Warren, Washington Counties seek organization to expand veterans program

(NEWS10) – It’s easy to say thank you to a veteran on Veterans Day, but when the day is over, some vets need more than just a “thank you for your service.” They may need services to help them readjust to civilian life.

To help make this adjustment easier, Washington and Warren counties are among two dozen counties in New York State that offer the Joseph P. Dwyer Peer to Peer program for veterans. “We’ve had this joint program for a number of years and it’s been quite successful. In fact, to the point where we think if we can get a nonprofit involved to help our staff run it, we can provide more service,” says Warren County Public Affairs Director Don Lehman.

Counties for the Adirondack Peer-to-Peer Support Services, Joseph P. Dwyer Project, provides counseling, mental health resources, and education, outreach, and employment assistance to veterans. Both counties are looking to expand the program by partnering with a nonprofit so they can not only help more veterans, but also get advice while doing so.

In a press release, Kenneth Winchell, Director of Veterans Services for Washington County, said, “My office looks forward to assisting the nonprofit organization in developing and expanding this program to meet the needs of our veterans by creating a strong peer support system. within this community.

The Peer-to-Peer Veterans Program is open to all veterans transitioning from military to civilian life. It was launched in 2012 in Suffolk County and quickly grew to be implemented in nearly half of the counties in New York State.

The Warren and Washington County Veterans Services offices would work with an organization willing to use New York State funding to further expand the two-county program. Both counties are among 25 counties in New York State that have established peer-to-peer support for services provided by veterans for veterans.

“I believe having a nonprofit community that continues to grow this program will better benefit our veterans in Warren and Washington counties on a broader spectrum than ever before,” said Denise DiResta, director Warren County Veterans Services.

Counties have issued a “Request for Proposals” (RFP), for eligible organizations registered as 501(c)(3), and have experience providing veterans services or mental health services to adults to include veterans. Proposals will be accepted until December 2.

Organizations wishing to request a copy of the RFP or have questions may contact the Warren County Purchasing Department at (518) 761-6538.

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