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How Local Governments Can Improve Veteran Services 2023: Everything Municipal Leaders Need To Know

By Marisa Pangaro

Far too often, veterans return from their time in service and lack the support they need to adjust back to civilian life as they often struggle with their mental health, employment, housing, and other critical aspects of day-to-day life. Local governments are the first line of support for veterans when they return home, and should play an important role in improving and prioritizing veterans' lives in their community.

Municipal services and innovative government technologies can play a crucial role in assisting veterans during this critical transition period. By harnessing the power of technology and tailoring municipal services to address the unique challenges faced by veterans, local governments can create a supportive environment that not only honors their sacrifices but also empowers them to thrive in their post-military lives.

The government owes it to these veterans to provide opportunity and to keep them safe in the communities they fought to protect. In this guide, we'll outline the role local government can play in supporting veterans, and highlight resources and best practices for providing veterans with opportunity. 

Follow along with this guide to learn all the ways your local government can work to improve veteran support in your community. Get a GovPilot Demo

Why Do Local Governments Need to Prioritize Support for Veterans?

As a gesture of gratitude, it is essential for local governments to support and honor the brave individuals as they acclimate back to civilian life. Prioritizing veterans also ensures that their unique skills and experiences gained during military service can be effectively integrated into the community, contributing to its growth and development.

Local governments also are the institution with the most opportunity to affect veterans quality of life. By providing targeted services, like healthcare, mental health support, and employment assistance, local governments can help veterans successfully transition to civilian life and thrive post-service.

Key Ways Local Governments Can Support Veterans

Local governments have extensive opportunities to provide support to veterans; here are a few ways: 

1. Employment in Local Government

Veterans' commitment to public service often leads them to seek roles in government administration, policy development, and advocacy, where their dedication to the country's welfare can be channeled effectively. Open roles in your local government can be filled by these veterans, giving them opportunities to make a stable living and bring their diverse perspectives to the workplace. 

Consider hiring veterans in the following government departments where they can provide value and unique perspectives : 

2. Educational Training 

Educational training is extremely valuable to veterans because it helps them adjust to civilian life and learn about quality jobs opportunities in the public or private sector. Through educational programs and opportunities, veterans gain new skills, enhance existing ones, and broaden their knowledge base which leads them to increased employability and career advancement. 

Educational training also encourages veterans to engage in their community, make meaningful connections with other residents, and can help instill a revitalized sense of purpose for veterans who may feel lost or not be sure how to spend their time.

Here are more tips for Improving Upward Mobility for Your Citizens.

3. Mental Health Facilities

Ensure that retired veterans in your community have not only the option of attending mental health counseling, but also have the resources provided to them by the government to make mental health improvements through other facilities. 

By establishing veteran-specific government programs, municipalities can create specialized mental health programs tailored to the unique needs of veterans to combat their unique roadblocks and challenges. These veteran-specific programs can offer counseling, therapy, and support groups specifically designed to address the challenges veterans may face after their military service.

Learn more about health department software and supporting veterans mental health easily making your community more accessible for veterans with disabilities. 

4. Partnering With Private Sector To Find Them High Demand Jobs

Often, the physical and psychological toll of military service can lead to injuries, disabilities, and mental health challenges that limit veterans' abilities to secure stable employment and maintain a consistent income. 

Partnerships with the private sector and local government can bridge the employment gap for veterans as establishing relationships with local businesses willing to hire veterans is a great way to help them find high demand jobs. 

Want to know more about Local Government Partnerships With The Private Sector? Read GovPilot’s helpful guide!

5. Housing and Food Assistance

Adjusting back to normal life when returning from military service is often daunting, and presents an array of challenges to veterans who often don’t know where or how to receive assistance. Housing and food insecurity are rampant in the military veteran community because of how difficult reestablishing a support system can be once vets return home. Often, bureaucratic complexities and delays in accessing veterans' benefits and support services exacerbates their financial vulnerability, leaving them susceptible to food insecurity and housing instability. 

Addressing these pressing issues requires a comprehensive approach, involving collaboration between government agencies, non-profit organizations, and the entire community to provide support systems and food/housing resources for our deserving veterans. Learn more about how housing department software can assist with providing shelter for veterans and other vulnerable community-members.

6. Encourage Community Members To Help Veterans Through Volunteering

Community members should be aware of the struggles our brave veterans face and be given ample opportunities, facilitated by the local government, that encourage citizens to lend their time and resources to improving veterans' lives. Providing emotional support and companionship, and helping veterans combat feelings of isolation and loneliness that can arise after leaving the military is a key way that volunteers can support veterans. 

Volunteers can apply online to offer mentorship and guidance to veterans, helping them navigate the job market, write resumes, prepare for interviews, navigate public transit, or combat and  thus increasing their chances of securing employment. Teach people exactly what aspects or readjusting to life are difficult for vets and how they can assist with them. 

Learn more about How To Host and Manage Public Meetings for inspiration on how to communicate with community-members about veterans’ needs and Getting Involved in Local Government

What Are The Benefits of Recruiting Veterans in Local Government

Public sector recruiting can sometimes be tricky, but there are countless benefits to recruiting veterans into your local government ecosystem. Here are a few: 

  • Fill employment gaps: 

Many departments within your local government likely have vacancies and open roles that can be successfully filled by dedicated veterans looking for work. Even throughout the community employment gaps can be filled when veterans are encouraged to seek employment in the private sector. 

Online job posting allows municipalities to share job openings on-line, allowing applicants to submit all relevant information from home, making it easy for recovering veterans to stay up to date on work opportunities. 

  • Get diverse perspectives: Veterans bring a unique perspective to the community and workplace. Inquire about veterans experience and expertise when recruiting local veterans to contribute to your relevant government departments. 

  • Boost your local economy and population: Supporting vets searches for employment promotes your community as a haven for veteran opportunity, likely increasing the incentive for veterans and their families to move to your community. When you hire veterans, or job-seekers in general, the local economy is boosted and government revenue is generated, as veterans will be able to more realistically contribute to the local economy while you improve unemployment rates in your locality and boost the economy.

Want to know more on Local Government Population Planning? Check out our guide. 

  • Improves veterans upward mobility: opportunities for upward mobility are often rarely presented to underserved members of the community. Increasing upward mobility will help veterans rise in socioeconomic status and allow them to engage with the community, support local businesses, and take advantage of volunteer opportunities.

Read our guide on How Municipalities Can Drive Local Economic Development to learn more. 

How Can Governments Leverage Technology to Support Veterans? 

Technology such as municipal software enables local governments to streamline workflows, government services, and cut time-waste and money loss in the municipality, making it easier for veterans to receive the support they need at a speedy timeline. 

Learn all you need to know about Improving Municipal Services In Your Community.  

Veterans Deduction Module

The veteran deduction module provided by GovPilot allows applicants to apply online for a Veteran or Surviving Spouse Deductions. Registration through this service makes it possible for the local government to build a database of applicants and notify them when a new application is needed so they can seamlessly receive their benefits. 

Human Resource Software 

Government human resources software from GovPilot makes employment opportunity posting for veterans simpler and allows local government HR departments to separate and organize veterans applications for quicker employment. Volunteer applications for helping vets are also available online through HR software that streamlines the process of approving and assigning volunteers tasks to support veterans. 

Leverage GovPilot For Hiring and Supporting Veterans

GovPilot’s government software solutions make hiring and supporting veterans simple, and allows local governments to improve their local government military veteran services to meet the specific needs of vets in your community. Consider local government technology solutions to support veterans in your community through automation and digitization of the most time-consuming government processes.  

To learn more about how government software can help your municipality, schedule a free demo.

Government Services For Veterans FAQ’s

  • Why Should Governments Prioritize Veteran Services?

Veteran services are the main and only source of support for many veterans in this country. Government provided veteran services make it possible for veterans to find work, receive mental health and physical health treatment, establish strong support systems and adequate housing arrangements. 

  • What Government Services Are Most Helpful to Veterans? 

The government services that should be prioritized, due to providing the most help to veterans, are housing services, mental health services, and job search assistance- all of which can and should be provided by your local government. 

  • How Can Government Technology Assist Veterans? 

Government technology solutions make veterans transition to civilian life far more manageable and accessible. Forms, applications, and services are able to be accessed digitally online at any time, streamlining workflows and approval processes. 

  • What Are Helpful Resources to Pass Along from the Federal Government

    The federal government has many valuable resources to help your municipality support veterans when they return home. Some of those resources include: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), The Veterans Employment Center (VEC), and The Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) Program. Further, the GI Bill provides education and training benefits to eligible veterans and their dependents, covering tuition, housing allowances, and other educational expenses. 

    Also note that the Veterans Crisis Line is a 24/7 hotline that is available for veterans to call and receive temporary counciling and support.  

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Tags: Government Efficiency, Constituent Experience, Digital Transformation, Public Health