Tag Archives: Veteran’s Transition Assistance Center

Veteran Support Centers of America Partner with Hope Center to Manage Veteran’s Transition Assistance Center in Centreville to Provide Counseling, Housing and Education to local Veterans

The VTAC in Centreville to provide health, mental health and over all spiritual support to our Wounded Warriors and Disabled Veterans achieved four significant milestones in July.

The Kristin Brooks Hope Center (founders of 800-SUICIDE and the 877-VET2VET peer counseling crisis hotlines) based in Stevensville signed a 5 year management contract with Veteran Support Centers of America which operate the only Veterans Transitional Assistance Center on the Eastern shore of Maryland in Salisbury.

In addition the Chairman of the Board of the VSCOA Lt Col. Donald S. Hawkins, USMC (Ret.), was nominated to the Board of the Kristin Brooks Hope Center in an effort to speed the process for the launch of the VTAC in Centreville to help wounded warriors and disabled veterans receive the housing, counseling and support they need to transition back to civilian life. In a similar exchange the Chairman of the KBHC Board H. Reese Butler II was nominated to the VSCOA Board. These efforts show the level of commitment the two organizations have for this much needed project in Centreville.

The other significant development was the submission of the first set of plans for the VTAC building at 314 Little Kidwell Avenue in Centreville by Jo Anne Baker of Torchio Architects. The plans were immediately approved by the combined KBHC and VSCOA Boards of Directors and have paved the way for the final set to be submitted to the Town of Centreville for final approval by the Planning and Zoning officials.

The detailed work of Torchio Architects is a significant donation that follows a long list of notable donations by local business leaders to see this project completed before the winter season of 2013-2014 begins. The plans are for a Grand Opening of November 11th to coincide with Veterans Day. Edward Chow, Jr., Secretary of Veterans Affairs, who recently visited the Salisbury-VSCOA location, has promised to attend the Grand Opening along with all the key stakeholders and supporters of this much needed project.

The Center will focus on job retraining, ongoing counseling, in a transitional living facility that provides assistance to Queen Anne’s County and Eastern Shore female Veterans with children as it will be the only such facility in the State of Maryland filling a tremendous unmet need.

About the Kristin Brooks Hope Center
The Kristin Brooks Hope Center was founded in April 1998 by Reese Butler after his wife, Kristin Brooks, died by suicide. The mission of the KBHC is to offer hope to those in the deepest emotional pain. To that end, the KBHC has launched programs such as the National Hopeline Network 1.800.SUICIDE, which connects those who are depressed or suicidal to a local certified crisis center. In 2003 KBHC launched 1-877-VET2VET and the www.veteranscall.us which provides peer support online, via telephone or email. The KBHC works to prevent suicide and educate people about depressive disorders. www.hopeline.com.

About Veterans Support Centers of America: Founded in 2010, Veterans Support Centers of America or VSCOA is a nonprofit organization formed to serve our rural Wounded Warriors and Disabled Veteran community. We do this by providing opportunity, shelter, needed support and access to services. Our extensive network of service providers, knowledge of the Veterans Administration system and professional staff have come together to form a unique and successful program of services to support the needs of the rural veteran. http://vscoa.org

Local Queen Anne’s County Businessmen Unite To Bring a Veteran’s Transition Assistance Center to Centreville

19_bt_Demolition0046Several local businessmen have joined forces to bring a Veteran’s Transition Assistance Center (VTAC) to Queen Anne’s County. The Center will focus on job retraining and ongoing counseling to help these individuals who have so bravely served our country, back on their feet. This facility will provide support and housing for up to five at a time of these Queen Anne’s County based heroes. It will give these veterans who have fallen on hard times the opportunity to return to useful and productive lives by providing them with the skills for independent living.

On Thursday, December 13th 2012, at 9:00 a.m. this project broke ground with the demolition of the original house at 314 Little Kidwell Avenue, Centreville MD. “There are so many generous donors at work to make sure this VTAC is set up in our county”, said Reese Butler, President and Founder of the Kristin Brooks Hopeline. Harry “Stoney” Duffey and EP Cronshaw of Shore Lumber, led the effort to bring community partners together to ensure this resource was built without any government funding.

The project began in early 2012 when Harry “Stoney” Duffey III and his wife Jij donated a 53’ Modular Home to the Kristin Brooks Hope Center with the intention of creating this resource for Queen Anne’s County Veterans. The other out of pocket expenses on the project were paid with a grant from the Salmon Foundation which has made supporting Veterans a priority for the last several years through the Kristin Brooks Hope Center’s VET2VET Peer Support Program. .

Phillip Hall and Leah Mileo Hall, of Centreville and Terra Firma Contracting, donated the demolition and removal of a dilapidated house to make way for the Eastern Shore of Maryland’s first VTAC in honor of their son, Marine Cpl. Jason David Mileo who was the first Marine from Queen Anne’s County to give up his life in combat during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Billy Coxen of Bennett & Cohey supplied the roll offs and hauled the debris to the land fill and Ted Baker of R.B. Baker & Sons, Inc. readily agreed to donate the land fill fees for the rubble from demolished house, adding to the chain of local community support.

Tom Carroll of Carroll Brothers Construction was one of the first in our community to step up and offer to help with the project. He has contributed his time and tools and plans to be involved in the building. Carroll and about 20 other local business leaders have already helped complete the brand new KBHC Headquarters in Stevensville, which was dedicated at its Grand Opening on October 26th 2012 by the First Lady of Maryland, the Honorable Katie O’Malley. The Headquarters serves as the Call Center for the 877-VET2VET hotline as well as the other 13 National programs that KBHC manages.

Joel Berger, ESQ of Stevensville donated all the closing costs including the legal fees, when he filed the deed on the property for the VTAC to be owned by the KBHC saving the center over $5,000. Tom Davis of DMS and Associates, civil engineers did the site map for the permits and placement of the new facility. Archie Blanton of B&O Mobile Home Transporting, Inc, of Wyoming began the process back in May when he dismantled the donated home and readied it for transport to its new site on Little Kidwell. And, Bo Oristian of Doc’s Riverside Grille offered up the local Centreville hotspot as a meeting place to support this effort. Most of the meetings to get this project off the ground have been held there and a launch party is planned for early March 2013. On that day all food and drinks will be “On The House” for people willing to donate the VTAC project, courtesy of Oristian.

Please join us by making a donation of time, dollars or materials needed so that this facility will be open before the Cold Weather Haven Shelter closes for the season in the Spring 2013. Together, we can eliminate veteran homelessness and suicide in Queen Anne’s County. This facility will be a significant step towards that goal.

About the Kristin Brooks Hope Center
The Kristin Brooks Hope Center was founded in April 1998 by Reese Butler after his wife, Kristin Brooks, died by suicide. The mission of the KBHC is to offer hope to those in the deepest emotional pain. To that end, the KBHC has launched programs such as the National Hopeline Network 1.800.SUICIDE, which connects those who are depressed or suicidal to a local certified crisis center. In 2003 KBHC launched 1-877-VET2VET and the www.veteranscall.us which provides peer support online, via telephone or email. The KBHC works to prevent suicide and educate people about depressive disorders. www.hopeline.com.

About Operation Second Chance: Founded in 2004 by Cindy McGrew they are patriotic citizens committed to serving our wounded, injured and ill combat veterans. They support Veterans and their families while they recover in military hospitals, by building relationships and identifying and supporting immediate needs and interests. They are dedicated to promoting public awareness of the many sacrifices made by our Armed Forces. Since its foundation in 2004, Operation Second Chance has developed a series of deep, mutually beneficial, and constructive working relationships with a series of Partners, and is proud to be associated with them. http://www.operationsecondchance.org

About The Queen Anne’s County Suicide Prevention Committee: QACSPC is dedicated to reducing the rate of suicide by supporting and advocating mental wellness in our community. Citing the words spoken 14 years ago by then US Surgeon General David Satcher” Depression is treatable and suicide is the most Preventable form of death in the United States today” the Committee meets monthly under the Local Management Board and is comprised of community leaders and mental health advocates. For more information contact Committee Chair Reese Butler at reese@hopeline.com

Other local businesses that have already supported KBHC in its mission to end suicide in Queen Anne’s County this year alone are iFred, Eastern Shore Tents and Events, Rentals to Remember, G&G Distributors, Love Point Deli, The Flower Shop, Pepsi Bottling Ventures, Shore Signs, NWVOX, It’s the Pits! Annies Paramount Steak House, Kentmoor Restaurant, Chick-Fil-A, Capriotti’s, Ledo Pizza, Bella Luna Cupcakery, Peace of Cake, Converge Coffee.