Center offers assistance to vets

LIBERTY — Whether it’s food, gasoline, referrals or other needs, Veterans’ Outreach Inc., 7 Belgrade Ave., provides services to help local military veterans.

The corporate offices, which were in Struthers for 15 years, are now in Liberty and serve as the national headquarters. The organization has offices in seven states.

Veterans’ Outreach has been in the business of helping veterans for over 20 years by focusing on veterans’ transition from military to civilian life.

John Ely, founder and president of Veterans’ Outreach, said the organization does what is can to assist local veterans.

One new program that was held in February was a one-time grocery distribution to veterans in Trumbull, Mahoning, Columbiana and Cuyahoga counties made possible by a grant from the Wal-Mart Foundation.

Veterans needing help can come to the office and meet with Robert Julian, vice president and service director for the nonprofit organization.

The office is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Ely said the office handles about 100 cases per week, assisting veterans with their needs and concerns and directing them to the agency that can best assist them.

Ely said he has a passion to help veterans transition to civilian life.

Veterans’ Outreach, which is a nonprofit, accepts donations, gets grant funding and also conducts fundraising events, such as poker runs.

Ely said he and others with the organization have been meeting with the State Veterans’ Affairs Commission.

Ely recently came back from Kentucky, where 125 acres of land given to the organization has been moving forward.

”We toured the donated land….It amazes me all the folks we have met,” he said.

He said Veterans’ Outreach has been talking and meeting with various professionals and other interested parties to help with planned projects on the property.

Veterans’ Outreach received a donation of more than 125 acres of land from Roger Hanshaw of Elliot County in Kentucky whose family farm burned down in the 1960s and the property was sitting there. He spoke with Ely and wanted the land donated to help veterans.

Ely said the land can be used for veterans’ residences, a training and community center, a church, Iron Man course, veteran tribute garden, fitness center, and farm for livestock and agriculture. He said discussion has been held to name the site “Heroes Passage: A Retreat for Veterans.”

Grants, funding and corporate involvement are planned.

Ely said Gilmore Design of Cortland has offered to donate their design services for the project after the survey and initial vision is complete.

“Heroes Passage: A Retreat for Veterans could be the best answer for offering a ‘beacon of hope’ to veterans in need of this type of setting and solutions. America is theirs, and our utmost goal is to enhance their lives socially, spiritually and prosperously so that they, too, can enjoy that dream that is owed to all of them” he said.

To donate, send a check payable to Veterans’ Outreach, 7 Belgrade Ave., Youngstown OH 44505, or visit its website, veteransoutreach.org, and click on “Donate.”

For information call 330-755-5792, 330-755-or visit veteransoutreach.org

bcoupland@tribtoday.com

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