Veterans have served us. It is our turn to serve them.
There are nearly 60,000 veterans in our eight county region. The number is anticipated to rise, as enlistment rates of people from southern states have been increasing in recent years.
Transitioning back into civilian life is hard for many veterans returning home. They face a variety of needs, including job training, employment, health (physical and mental), housing assistance and education.
The Community Foundation’s Veterans Initiative is a four year, $600,000 effort to identify and address the most pressing needs of our local veterans and their families.
The Traveling Wall
Veterans Needs Assessment
The first step in our Veterans Initiative was to conduct a Southwest Alabama Veterans Needs Assessment. As a result of these findings and the recommendation of our Veteran Advisory Committee, the Foundation identified the following primary objectives for the competitive grant program.
- Improving awareness of available services
- Addressing the underlying causes of substance abuse
- Providing therapy for mental health issues
- Offering treatment for substance abuse
The grants awarded to local nonprofits support these primary objectives and provide direction and treatment to bolster the lives of these heroes who live among us.
On Veterans Day 2017, the Community Foundation established the Veterans Fund. As an endowed fund, the initial gift given by the Jacobson family will remain untouched while the income from the investment will be awarded in the form of grants to organizations working on Veterans Issues. This legacy gift will continue to provide for the needs of our service men and women in our community for many years to come.
So far, the Community Foundation of South Alabama has awarded over $450,000 in competitive grants to local nonprofit organizations dedicated to serving veterans in Southwest Alabama. These grants support the development and implementation of programs that provide a focused, innovative approach for meeting the needs of veterans and their families in the Foundation’s eight-county service area.
2018 Grant Awards:
Bayou Clinic, Inc. – $100,000, multi-year grant
Equine Therapy Group Foundation – $15,000, multi-year grant
Lifelines Counseling Services – $96,000, multi-year grant
Heroes On the Water – $5,000 grant
Housing First, Inc. – $80,000 grant
Service Dogs Alabama – $24,000 multi-year grant (matching)
Veteran Recovery Resources – $100,000 challenge grant
2016 Grant Awards
Blue Star Salute Foundation – $7,500.00 grant
Equine Therapy Group Foundation – $10,000.00 grant
2015 Grant Awards
Alabama State Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Spanish Fort Foundation –$1,300 grant
Volunteers of America Southeast – $20, 511 grant
Horses are healing. They are prey animals and directly react to the emotions of those around them. In order to have a positive experience with a horse, a relationship must be established. Equine Therapy has proven to be very helpful to veterans suffering from PTSD. It develops trust, confidence, and social skills. It reduces anxiety and increases self-awareness.
Veterans Initiative Advisory Council
Samuel “Duke” Walker - Chairman
Captain, USCG (Ret)
Josten’s Inc, Southeast Manager of Scholastic Division
Steven D. Carey
Colonel, USAF (Ret.)
CertaPro Painters of Mobile & Baldwin Counties, Owner
Dr. Michael Chambers
University of South Alabama, Assistant Vice President for Research Innovation
Janet L. Cobb
MG, USA (Ret.)
USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park, Executive Director
Christopher L. Lee
CDR. USCG (Ret)
The J. L. Bedside Foundation, Executive Director
Louis J. Lartigue Sr.
LTC, USA (Ret)
South Alabama Veterans Council, President
John S. Moses
Lieutenant, USN Reserve
Bay Chevrolet, Inc., President
CDR, USN (Ret)
NAI Mobile, Commercial Real Estate Broker