The State of Arizona is home to more than 600,000 veterans. Nearly 1,000 of those vets are homeless, according to recent statistics from the Arizona Department of Veteran’s Services. State officials have decided to step up their game and help ensure veterans can begin working again. The department conducted a recent outreach program throughout the state to ask veterans what they can do help. The department’s southern region manager, Gary Ochoa, admitted that many veterans expressed grievances about not having transportation to reach work.
“One of the common things was that if I had certain tools you know… if I had transportation I would be able to get to work.” To combat this problem, the Arizona Department of Veteran’s Services has launched a pilot program called Veteran Tool Kit. The program is designed to give unemployed veterans the tools and supplies needed to start working once again.
He went on to explain that the department intends to help repair automobiles and purchase bikes for veterans. They’ll also provide veterans with bus passes. While a lot of emphasis has been placed on transportation, Ochoa also confirmed the money could be spent on clothing and tools that are required for the veteran’s new job. Each veteran will be able to spend a maximum of $750.
After their recent outreach, Arizona’s Department of Veteran’s Services found that this type of program would help more than 60% of the state’s veterans in need. In order to qualify for the program, the veteran must reside in Arizona and be enrolled in the Arizona Department of Economic Security Employment program. They must also be able to identify the job and supplies required.
Ochoa made it clear that the program isn’t funded with taxes. Instead, the money comes from patriotic license plates. $17 of the total $25 will go to help veterans regain work. Veterans are encouraged to visit a local Department of Security office and speak with a veteran specialist to sign up.