By Daphnee Puryear / The Daily Item
LYNN — Catholic Charities North, with the collaboration of its national organization and AmeriCorps, has introduced a veterans assistance program with case management for both North Shore veterans and active military personnel, as well as their families.
Patty Carter, a volunteer for AmeriCorps — a national community service organization — helps the assistance program meet its objectives. She is a U.S. Navy veteran (1984-1988).
According to Anna DeBiasi, Development & Volunteer Office Coordinator at Catholic Charities North, veterans are not aware of the many benefits available to them. Having Carter as a case manager, and having the assistance program, will provide more information about the types of assistance veterans qualify for.
“I have been an advocate for veterans and their families since I’ve gotten out of the Navy,” Carter said. “Therefore, what better way to give back to my fellow veterans than by serving them through Catholic Charities and AmeriCorps.”
Catholic Charities, which has a contract with AmeriCorps, according to DeBiasi, told the organization it wanted a volunteer to fill an open role, and Carter took on the job. On some of the issues she has already assisted veterans finding jobs, connecting them with the VA program and the Supportive Services for Veterans and Families.
“The issues facing many of the veterans that I have met include homelessness, a lack of sufficient financial resources to meet all of their basic needs, such as food, shelter and utility bills,” Carter said.
Carter says that the assistance program’s website does not have the best explanation about it, so she is proactive about informing veterans. Carter gets involved in programs, and that is one of the ways she can let veterans know about her role and how she can help. Also, Carter goes to workshops and involves herself to let people know what she’s doing.
“Patty will work with Catholic Charities for one year,” DeBiasi said. “And then we would have to renew the partnership with Americorps and keep it going for another year with a new volunteer.”
The veteran assistance program has been funded for three years, according to Carter.