City Life

Places to find veteran support in Wisconsin

This list compiles resources available to veterans

Veterans Support

The American Legion Department of Wisconsin
The American Legion Department of Wisconsin, chartered in 1920, is at the helm of an employment initiative in partnership with several state and federal agencies and also home to various benefit assistance and rehabilitation services for veterans. 745-1090, 2930 American Legion Dr., Portage, wilegion.org
 
Dane County Veterans Service Office
On top of providing services for veterans and families, the Dane County Veterans Service Office is chiefly dedicated to advocating for veterans by providing information and attaining local, state 
and national benefits. 266-4158, City-County Building, 210 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Room 108, danevets.com
 
Disabled American Veterans—Department of Wisconsin
In the quest to empower physically challenged veterans, DAV-Wisconsin provides free professional services for retired military personnel in Wisconsin while advocating for them via programs, benefit assistance, mobility assistance and more. 920-338-8620, 1253 Scheuring Road, De Pere, dav-wi.org
 
Tribal Veterans Service Offices
Tribal equivalent to the Dane County Veterans Service Office. Location/contact info depends on tribe, dva.state.wi.us

Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs
This is a one-stop, overarching state government agency that oversees benefits and provides care/services for Wisconsin veterans, as well as their families and survivors. 800-947-8387, 201 W. Washington Ave., dva.state.wi.us
 
Wisconsin Veterans Network
A nonprofit social agency founded and maintained by veterans to serve veterans. VetsNet facilitates veteran services in many areas—including but not limited to emergency relief, homelessness, mental health counseling and legal assistance—primarily in southeastern Wisconsin. Service in Dane County available upon request. 414-257-3624, 6317 W. Greenfield Ave., West Allis, wisvetsnet.org

Criminal Justice

University of Wisconsin Law School Veterans Law Center
Served by volunteer attorneys, paralegals and law students, the Veterans Law Center operates three times monthly to provide civil legal services and resources for local, low-income veterans and their families at a free walk-in legal clinic. 616-5232 (Adriana Aristeiguieta Dean, Veterans Law Center administrator), 975 Bascom Mall, law.wisc.edu
 
Wisconsin Court System for Veterans
The Wisconsin Court System for Veterans develops and pilots strategies aimed to promote sobriety and recovery and provide justice for criminally charged veterans with services, including mental health support, legal aid and more. 266-4194 (Judge David Flanagan, presiding judge at the Dane County Veterans Treatment Court), wicourts.gov

Health care

Mental Health America of Wisconsin
On top of its extensive efforts in suicide prevention and support services, Mental Health America of Wisconsin also compiles a directory of resources and operates a hotline for Dane County veterans struggling with mental health issues. 414-276-3122, 600 W. Virginia St., Suite 502, Milwaukee, mhawisconsin.org
 
National Alliance on Mental Illness
In addition to detailing answers to common concerns regarding active and retired military personnels’ mental health on its website, NAMI also provides veterans and families with a crisis helpline. 800-950-6264 (helpline), 800-236-2988 (inquiry), 4233 W. Beltline Highway, nami.org

Veterans Crisis Line
Staffed by qualified VA responders specialized in PTSD, military sexual trauma, traumatic brain injuries and more, the free crisis line provides confidential, emergency support services and resources for troops and guards in active service, veterans at risk, homeless veterans and their families via phone, live chat and text messages. 800-273-8255, press 1 (crisis hotline), veteranscrisisline.net

Vets Helping Vets by the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) of Dane County
Initiated and maintained by RSVP of Dane County, Vets Helping Vets pairs volunteers and service benefactors—both of whom are veterans—to provide free transportation to medical appointments and other important meetings. 238-7787, rsvpdane.org

Vets4Warriors
Vets4Warriors connects veterans with active duty, National Guard and reserve service members, peer veterans and their families/caregivers to confidential, stigma-free peer guidance and support. 855-838-8255 (helpline), vets4warriors.com

William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital
Serving more than 130,000 veterans across 15 counties in south-central Wisconsin and five in northwestern Illinois, this Madison-based veterans hospital, affiliated with the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, provides tertiary medical, surgical, neurological and psychiatric care as well as a full range of outpatient services and veterans programs. 256-1901, 2500 Overlook Terrace, madison.va.gov

Housing/Food Security

Heat for Heroes
While the four-year-old organization doesn’t provide housing for homeless veterans, it seeks to ensure veterans of household stability by averting energy-related emergencies. Via energy assistance grants, Heat for Heroes assists veterans who struggle to keep their heat and power on, or have fallen behind on utility bills. 800-891-9276, 1220 S. Park St., heat4heroes.org
 
Veterans Homelessness Prevention Services
Organized as a joint effort between Legal Actions of Wisconsin, the Center for Veterans Issues and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Supportive Services for Veterans Families Program, the prevention program looks to curb homelessness among veterans by providing legal aid in defense of evictions and other housing law issues. 256-3304, 31 S. Mills St., legalaction.org
 
Veterans Outreach of Wisconsin
On top of providing transitional homes for homeless veterans, VOW also promises home furnishings—as well as access to weekly food pantry and appropriate work, interview and casual clothing—to previously homeless and/or at-risk veterans. 262-221-8350, 1624 Yout St., Racine, vetsoutreachwi.us
 
Veterans Outreach and Recovery Program
Operated under a partnership between the Wisconsin Department of Veteran Affairs and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, the Veterans Outreach and Recovery Program seeks to provide housing, substance abuse services and behavioral health support for homeless veterans. 267-0783, 201 W. Washington Ave., FL4, dva.state.wi.us
 
Veteran’s Transitional Housing Program
Established as a collaboration between homeless shelter Porchlight and the Veterans Administration Grant and Per Diem Program, the Veterans Transitional Housing Program provides two-year-maximum transitional housing—which includes in-house alcohol and drug abuse recovery support, employment assistance, legal support, medical care and counseling and other services—for homeless veterans (or veterans at risk of homelessness) in a downtown residence. 441-2556, 1102 Spring St., porchlightinc.org

Jobs/Education

Apprenticeship for Veterans by the State of Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development
As an integral part of GI Bill programs, the veterans apprenticeships coined by the state’s Department of Workforce Development, including “Combat to Construction” and “Veterans in Piping,” provides weeks-long vocational learning and on-the-job training for veterans, reservists and members of the National Guard in preparation for employment placement. 261-8771, dwd.wisconsin.gov
 
Disabled Veterans Outreach Program
Managed and overseen by the U.S. Department of Labor, this outreach program places an emphasis on providing intensive support toward employment needs of disabled and otherwise eligible veterans, especially those who are already financially and educationally challenged. 261-8489, 201 E. Washington St., benefits.gov
 
University of Wisconsin–Madison Veteran Services & Military Assistance Center
Based at UW–Madison, the center serves veterans seeking higher education at the university by helping navigate the admissions process, search for support services and understand scholastic benefits available to veterans. 265-4628, 333 E. Campus Mall, Suite 10301, veterans.wisc.edu

Veteran and Military Transition Center by CareerOneStop
A nationwide portal powered by CareerOneStop, the digital transition center serves as a resource database for and about veterans-related employment, education and financial management. careeronestop.org
 
Veterans Business Services by Legal Action of Wisconsin
In the hope of inciting economic growth and creating employment opportunities, Legal Action of Wisconsin inaugurated this veteran-oriented project this past May to provide free legal service for financially under-resourced veterans to launch and operate a business. 414-274-3065, 31 S. Mills St., legalaction.org
 
Veterans Wisconsin Education Portal
Similar to the UW–Madison Veteran Services & Military Assistance Center, Veterans Wisconsin Education Portal is created as a joint endeavor by UW–Madison and Wisconsin Technical College Systems to help transitioning veterans search for and secure educational opportunities.
877-893-1640, veterans.wisconsin.edu
 
WiscJobs for Vets
A job search and application portal, WiscJobs for Vets is built for unemployed or temporarily employed veterans with a service-related disability rating of 30 percent or higher to navigate employment processes in government agencies under the Veterans Non-Competitive Appointment Process. 267-1012, wiscjobsforvets.wi.gov

Wisconsin Veterans Chamber of Commerce
Much like other organizations of its kind, the Wisconsin Veterans Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to bettering the business atmosphere for veterans, their families and allies by supporting veteran-owned and veteran-friendly businesses with resources across multiple disciplines. 920-288-2646, 5027 W. North Ave., Milwaukee, wiveteranschamber.org

Support Groups

Dryhootch
Inspired by retail coffeehouses, combat veterans established Dryhootch, a café-like, substance-free safe space to cultivate an interactional yet relaxed and supportive community for all veterans and their families. 250-2540, 2825 University Ave., Suite B, dryhootchwi.org

Madison Vet Center
Supported by the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital, the Madison Vet Center provides an extensive lineup of counseling services, outreach programs and weekly support groups at various locations to serve Wisconsin veterans. 264-5342, 1291 N. Sherman Ave., va.gov 

Pets for Vets
Keenly aware of alarming numbers related to veterans’ mental health, Pets for Vets pairs eligible struggling veterans with shelter dogs, which serve as trained companion pets. petsforvets.com

​​​​​​​Team RWB Madison
The Madison chapter of Team Red, White and Blue connects veterans through community service, social and physical activities. Members can participate in national events or activities hosted by the local chapter. There are four Team RWB chapters in Wisconsin. teamrwb.org

Return to the November 2017 veterans cover story.


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