The first Sussex County Veterans Stakeholders meeting, co-sponsored by Sussex County Community College (SCCC) and Catholic Charites Diocese of Paterson, took place on Tuesday, October 14 in the Student Center Theater on the SCCC campus.
The event was structured to meet with all potential veteran service providers in the county and to evaluate how the county can serve veterans in a better capacity. A service gap analysis was performed, which enables local service providers to see what services are missing and what interventions can be applied to fill the gaps.
Freeholder Director, Richard Vohden was in attendance and gave the opening speech to welcome attendees. Topics of discussion were focused on a VA Community-Based Outpatient Clinic known as a CBOC. According to SCCC Veteran Services Coordinator, Mike DeVilliers stated, “This is one of the biggest gaps in services for veterans that were identified in Sussex County.”
After lunch, a round table discussion with Congressmen Rodney Frelinghuysen took place. Much of the conversation focused on the need for the outpatient medical clinic in the county and also to make amendments to the Post 9/11 GI Bill which would allow for a housing stipend for student veterans during a semester break. Currently, student veterans do not receive their housing allowance during these breaks causing a hardship for many student veterans and their families.
SCCC’s current housing allowance of $2200 aids many veterans who are returning and/or starting college after their completed military service. This allowance brings much needed relief for many student veterans and their dependents. The College has also started their own relief fund to aid student veterans in an emergency situation.
For more information about the veteran program at SCCC, contact Veteran Service Coordinator, Mike DeVilliers at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 973.300.2109