2011 - 2014

ROBIN HOOD DONORS GENEROUSLY CONTRIBUTED OVER
$13 MILLION TO THE VETERANS INITIATIVE
 
More than 250,000 veterans live in New York City, including a new generation of veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
 
Beginning in 2009, Robin Hood staff and grantees recognized an uptick in the number of veterans relying on job training, housing and food programs.

By 2010, NYC veterans were homeless at a rate three times greater than the civilian population. Additionally, the suicide rate among young veterans was alarmingly high and the unemployment rate for veterans ages 18-24 was three times greater than those who hadn’t served.  

THE CRISIS WAS CLEAR AND ROBIN HOOD RESPONDED.  

VETERANS INITIATIVE FUNDING THROUGH OCTOBER 2014

APPROACH:

A few underlying principles have guided Robin Hood’s investment in programs that serve veterans; lessons that we believe can be replicated in communities across the country to benefit thousands of veterans and their families. 

Public & Private INNOVATION

The majority of our investment has been made in partnership with all three branches of government including the City of New York, the state of New York and on the Federal level with the VA. In particular we relied on the City of New York, the City’s major funder of human services, to be our partner. We believe that this coordination was a condition for success. 

 

Serve Veterans UNIQUELY

Robin Hood relied on a number of New York City’s most established non-profit service providers such as the Bowery Residents Committee, Single Stop, New York Legal Assistance Group and Madison Strategies. Robin Hood also partnered with innovative national veterans service organizations including Vets Prevail and The Mission Continues.

 

THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

Our advisory board helped ensure that the private sector both participated in our planning as well as shaped new models of programming. We were extremely fortunate to have the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen and businessman Steve Cohen take such an active role in guiding our efforts. In 2012, we held a national Veterans Summit to discuss national models of success for helping veterans.

KEY OUTCOMES
An initial exhaustive review of local and national veterans programs revealed gaps in how veterans were being served. This inspired our staff and partners to develop new solutions and forge new relationships to close those gaps. Since 2011, Robin Hood has invested in over 20 programs to help vulnerable veterans and their families. In partnership with the City of New York and the local VA, many of our pioneering programs have established new standards of success when it comes to serving veterans and their families in meaningful ways.

HOMELESSNESS
Together with New York City’s Department of Homeless Services and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, we secured housing for nearly 700 veterans. NYC's veteran street homeless rate is now close to zero.

Jobs and Entrepreneurship

Robin Hood partnered with the City to reshape their Workforce1 Career Centers veterans’ strategy. As of 2011 these centers have placed more than 2,500 veterans in full-time jobs.
 
 

MENTAL HEALTH

We co-founded the first mental health clinic for families and spouses of veterans: the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Military Family Clinic at NYU Langone Medical Center. In its first year, the Clinic served more than 300 families, and is expected to serve nearly 500 families in 2014.

 

BENEFITS

Robin Hood partnered with The Mission Continues and the Single Stop Network to help 1,800 veterans and their families gain access to the benefits and social services to which they were entitled.
 

LEGAL

Over 4,000 veterans have accessed free legal services since 2011 thanks to a pilot initiative between Robin Hood and three of the City’s legal providers

EDUCATION

Our grant to Project for Return and Opportunity in Veterans’ Education (PROVE) is supporting 525 veterans who are newly-enrolled college students, assisting them as they transition from military service to student life within the CUNY community college system.

 


In the spring of 2013, Robin Hood had the opportunity to testify in front of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs to share the lessons we had learned over two years of our Veterans Initiative.  Our message to the Committee was:  “The VA must focus on creating a working partnership with local cities and non-profits in order to integrate vets and their families into support services not currently available through the VA."
Click here view the testimony.

 

VETERANS SUMMIT:

In May 2012, Robin Hood hosted the Robin Hood Veterans Summit, an all-day conference aboard the U.S.S. Intrepid that brought together over 400 leaders from the military, veterans groups, non-profit organizations, local, state and federal governments, and the media to discuss the challenges facing returning veterans and to highlight potential solutions that could be implemented on the local and national level. 
 
Moderators and panelists included Admiral Mike Mullen; General Stanley McChrystal, former Commander of U.S. and International Forces in Afghanistan; General Peter W. Chiarelli, former Vice Chief of Staff for the U.S. Army; U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA); Shaun Donovan, U.S. Secretary for Housing and Urban Development; along with Jon Stewart, Tom Brokaw, Katie Couric and Brian Williams. 
 
 

SUMMIT HIGHLIGHTS:

 

JON STEWEART & MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENT SALVATORE GIUNTA:

 

Next Steps 
This work has been central to our poverty-fighting mission, and we are confident that many of the pilot programs that have been developed over the past three years are game changing models which will continue on in new ways. 

NEW MODELS
In the spring of 2015, we are poised to launch a one-of-a-kind program collaborative with over 25 community organizations, the VA and the City of New York to create a local safety net of program providers across NYC to help veterans and their families with any support services they require.   

NATIONAL EXPANSION
Currently many of the Robin Hood Veterans Initiative programs and pilots, including Vets Prevails online mental health counseling, Single Stop, and legal support services, are being replicated nationally or are under consideration by the VA and other cities.

CONTINUED FUNDING
While our initial $13 million fund will be completely invested in 2014, the most successful of our veterans programs will continue as core Robin Hood grantees into 2015 and beyond.

ROBIN HOOD IS COMMITTED TO PURSUING OPPORTUNITIES TO SERVE VETERANS AND THEIR FAMILIES IN NEW YORK CITY.