Press Release: Gov. Evers, WDVA Announce More Than $549,000 in Grants to 14 Organizations Helping Wisconsin Veterans and Families

Office of Governor Tony Evers
Gov. Evers, WDVA Announce More Than $549,000 in Grants to 14 Organizations Helping Wisconsin Veterans and Families 
MADISON Gov. Tony Evers and Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA) Secretary Mary Kolar today announced $549,560 in grants to 14 registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations that provide financial assistance, entrepreneurship training, or other services to Wisconsin veterans and their families.

So much of our strength as a state is our ability to work together to tackle challenges facing folks in our communities, and that includes our veterans,” said Gov. Evers. “Especially after the difficulties of the last two years, we must work to ensure our veterans have the resources and support they deserve. These grants will continue to bolster collaboration, strengthen the network of organizations working to provide care and assistance, and find long-term solutions to support our state’s and our country’s heroes and the challenges they face—both those that existed before the pandemic and others that worsened because of it.”

Wisconsin is home to more than 300,000 veterans, many of whom often face unique emotional and physical health challenges after completing their service. Veterans are also at increased risk for economic and housing insecurity, mental and behavioral health challenges, and substance use disorders, among other challenges. In addition to awarding these funds to support the veteran services network across our state, earlier this year, Gov. Evers announced during his State of the State address he would be signing an executive order creating a Blue Ribbon Commission on Veteran Opportunity. The commission is charged with developing comprehensive, long-term efforts to support Wisconsin’s veterans and address these challenges, which is essential for ensuring the well-being of our veterans and ensuring their success and opportunity.

Since starting in 2015, the WDVA’s grant programs have awarded more than $1.7 million in funding to organizations that have a goal of ensuring Wisconsin veterans and their families are properly cared for, and more than $2.2 million in funding to non-profit organizations that provide entrepreneurship or technical, business, or other assistance to veteran entrepreneurs to improve employment outcomes. 

“WDVA is proud to partner with these organizations who are actively working to improve the lives of Wisconsin veterans,” said Secretary Kolar. “We must honor our commitment to take care of those who have served and provide them with the resources they need to succeed in their civilian life.”

The WDVA is grateful for these and other community and nonprofit organizations across the state, forming a network that has resulted in thousands of in-need veterans receiving vital assistance and resources.

A list of nonprofit grant recipients is available below: 
  • Aurora Medical Group (Milwaukee) was awarded $25,000 to help expand services through their four support groups: art & music therapy, movement therapy, a veteran’s support group, and a home front support group.
  • T.S. Inc. (Appleton) was awarded $25,000 to provide for veteran's basic needs in their transitional shelters. They provide services to help people bridge from crisis care to independent living through four key areas that strengthen their resident's self-sufficiency and enable them to leave homelessness for good.
  • Center for Veterans Issues (Milwaukee) was awarded $25,000 to help support their V.E.T. Woodshop which provides vocational, training, and therapeutic and employment. Center for Veterans Issues helps veterans recovering from addiction and provides housing and supportive services to help improve the quality of life for all veterans, their families, and the communities in which they live and serve.
  • Family Health Center of Marshfield (Marshfield) was awarded $25,000 to help offset any out-of-pocket dental expenses for veterans after all discounts have been applied. Providing no or low-cost dental services to individuals living at or below the 200 percent of the federal poverty level through a sliding fee discount program.
  • Mental Health America of Wisconsin (Milwaukee) was awarded $24,560 to help support the operation of their peer-run warmline and increase the ability of the veteran warmline to respond to the anticipated increased demand, as well as to help veterans achieve wellness through healthier lives by promoting mental health as an essential element of wellness.
  • Vincent De Paul, St. Joseph Conference (Marinette) was awarded $25,000 to help veterans and their families with their basic needs such as rental assistance, vehicle repair, utilities, furniture, household items, heat, electric, water and gasoline.
  • USO of Wisconsin (Milwaukee) was awarded $25,000 to help support their current programs and expansion programs at Fort Mc Coy to better serve the military and veterans along with their families.
  • University of Wisconsin Superior Foundation (Superior) was awarded $25,000 to help support their events for their Veteran and Non-Traditional Student Center.
  • War Memorial Center (Milwaukee) is awarded $25,000 to continue their mission to “honor the dead—serve the living.”
  • Wisconsin Veterans Network (West Allis) was awarded $25,000 to support expenses for their VetsNet Intake, Assessment and Advocacy Programs, including Service Navigator salaries/benefits, emergency financial Assistance and outreach efforts as identified in the recently completed marketing strategy. 

A list of entrepreneurship grant recipients is available below: 

  • Ashland Area Development Corporation (Ashland) was awarded $100,000 to provide local mentorship, professional instruction, and customized coaching to veterans who will launch new businesses in Ashland and Bayfield Counties. Participants will attend classes to learn how to launch successful, sustainable businesses. Classes will tackle business plan development, legal consideration for business owners, bookkeeping skills, and other essential elements. For local mentorship, professional instruction, and customized coaching to veterans who will launch new businesses in Ashland and Bayfield Counties.
  • Fox Valley Technical College (Appleton) was awarded $89,650 to conduct one Innovation Accelerator for Veterans cohort, in spring of 2022. The grant will assist in providing entrepreneurial training and technical support, net-working opportunities, one-on-one mentoring and provide funds for startup/growth expenses for veteran-owned businesses.
  • Wisconsin Veterans Chambers of Commerce (Milwaukee) was awarded $10,350 to support educational, networking, and to promotional programming dedicated to supporting veteran-own businesses across Wisconsin. By coordinating existing resources, offering educational programming for veterans, and organizing a new market of consumers, the Veteran Business Initiative creates the opportunity for sustainable growth for veteran-owned businesses.
  • Wisconsin Women's Business Initiative Corporation (Milwaukee) was awarded $100,000 to assist in reaching 165 veterans, to purchase Military CEO: Guided business plan books and licensing to support their one-week business boot camp for 25 veterans.
An online version of this release is available here.