Need access to veterans services? Hotline will answer questions


A defense contractor has partnered with the United Way of the Greater Dayton Area to call on area business and others to contribute money to launch a Miami Valley veterans’ hotline by Veterans Day next November.

SRC, which has a Fairborn office with work geared toward Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, has contributed $120,000, with a goal to get other companies and donors to give a matching amount for a total of $240,000 by June 30, said Lisa Mondello, a company spokeswoman.

“We’re pretty confident we can get there,” she said. “We know there’s a lot of companies in the area that support veterans and if everybody steps forward and makes even a small donation we can get there.”

RELATED: Dayton area picked for pilot project to aid veterans

The around-the-clock VetsLinks hotline, operating everyday of the year, would help veterans navigate local, state and federal agencies and connect them with services, according to Rosalie Bonacci-Roberts, United Way VetsLink program manager.

Often, veterans may not know or have trouble finding what they need, she said.

“It’s frustrating at best and may act as a barrier to stressed, ill, aging or disabled veterans and their caretakers,” she said.

The call-in service would start with two counselors to answer veterans’ questions. They would dial HelpLink 2-1-1 and be prompted for the option.

“One of the benefits of VetsLink is as a database we keep the calls logged,” she said. “We will follow-up with the callers to see if they get the services they need and if not, why not.”

The region has more than 127,000 veterans in a nine-county region in Montgomery, Greene, Warren, Preble, Butler, Clark, Champaign, Madison and Clinton counties.

RELATED: After the military: Finding a job, place in society not easy for veterans

“We’re anticipating as they become more aware and reach out to them, the use (of the hotline) will increase,” Bonacci-Roberts said.

The United Way had targeted the start-up of the VetsLink hotline in late 2016at its Dayton call center, but securing the dollars needed to launch the program has been a challenge, she said.

“We think now, with this challenge grant, we’ll be able to find the resources and the support to launch on Veterans Day this year,” she said.

RELATED: VA rolls out new Veterans ID cards

Donors may contact the United Way directly or mail a check to the non-profit charity at 33 W. First St., Suite 500, Dayton, Ohio 45402.

The United Way launched a hotline for senior citizens in 2016: SilverLink connects them to financial assistance, food pantries and other needs, according to Catherine Myers, a community outreach coordinator.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in News

2018 Billboard Music Awards: Ed Sheeran, Janet Jackson, Taylor Swift top winner list
2018 Billboard Music Awards: Ed Sheeran, Janet Jackson, Taylor Swift top winner list

Singers, songwriters and recording artists were awarded at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards Sunday in Las Vegas. 
Kelly Clarkson calls for ‘moment of action’ to honor victims of Texas school shooting at Billboard awards
Kelly Clarkson calls for ‘moment of action’ to honor victims of Texas school shooting at Billboard awards

In a moving and somber start to the 2018 Billboard Music Awards, Kelly Clarkson called attention to the Santa Fe High School shooting in Texas that left 10 dead and another 13 wounded. Instead of a moment of silence, however, Clarkson, who said no one should be in fear to go to school called on the crowd, and viewers, to honor the victims with a moment...
Man intentionally drove through restaurant, killed 2, including deputy daughter
Man intentionally drove through restaurant, killed 2, including deputy daughter

Families were sitting down for a comfortable Sunday lunch when chaos ensued at a Gaston County restaurant. Two people died and others were injured when a man drove his car into a Gaston County restaurant just after noon. Police said the driver of the car, Roger Self, was taken into custody. Police said after their initial investigation, they believe...
Veteran heartbroken after her therapy dog is mauled to death
Veteran heartbroken after her therapy dog is mauled to death

Years after fighting for our country in Iraq, Cherice Jackson found herself in another fight – this time for her best friend, her therapy dog Ms. Pooh.  Jackson said two pit bulls mauled Ms. Pooh to death and she couldn’t stop it.  “I spent probably 20, 30 minutes trying to wrestle her from him,” Jackson told Channel...
Deaf, pregnant woman with service animal says she was punched on flight
Deaf, pregnant woman with service animal says she was punched on flight

Video shows a confrontation that erupted after a deaf pregnant woman said a man punched her and her service dog as their Frontier flight was taxiing to a gate at Orlando International Airport. The family of the man said it was all a misunderstanding. Hazel Ramirez admits that her fiancé, Matthew Silva, tackled Timothy Manley in the terminal...
More Stories