East Boston veterans organizations receive $140,000 state grant for initiatives

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The ITAM on Paris Street, East Boston. Photograph by Frank Conte for EastBoston.com

Boston, MA – The Executive Office of Veterans Services (EOVS) today announced $2 million in grant funding through the Veterans Community Initiative (VCI) Grant program for 15 community organizations. Following recommendations from the Veterans Reintegration Advisory Committee (VRAC) report, this funding will support informal and formal peer support efforts as well as fund innovative programming to address suicide prevention in the veteran and service member community in Massachusetts. 

“We are wholeheartedly dedicated to empowering our service members, veterans and their families with comprehensive support across Massachusetts, said Secretary Jon Santiago. “This funding strengthens the backbone of our veteran community by expanding crucial peer support networks and broadening our suicide prevention efforts, ensuring that we meet the evolving needs of our veterans with precision and compassion.” 

The VCI Grant will benefit 15 organizations that demonstrate innovative approaches to veteran services. The recipients are: 
 

Grantee  Dollar Amount  Purpose  
22Mohawks Corp  $53,080  Behavioral healthcare, peer support activities, and facility improvements in Norfolk County 
Connecticut Section PGA Golf Foundation, Inc.  $10,000  Connecting and supporting veteran peer support efforts through sports and physical activity  
Falmouth Together We Can  $25,000  Connecting and supporting peer support efforts through various outdoor activities  
Frost Call Inc  $9,231  Connecting and supporting veterans through peer support efforts through gaming  
Harvard Street Neighborhood Health Center  $50,000  Renovating veteran outreach center rooms  
Massachusetts General Hospital  $250,000  Creation and implementation of lethal means curriculum to prevent suicide among veterans  
Massachusetts Veteran Service Officers Association $35,849  Training and Veteran Service Officer (VSO) summer conference  
Minus 22 Foundation Inc.  $20,000  Support and scholarship for families of veterans/servicemembers lost to suicide  
New England Center and Home for Veterans  $375,000  Improvements to veteran meeting and training spaces  
New England’s Wounded Veterans  $140,000  For Italian American War Veterans and American Legion Post in East Boston   
Veterans Association of Bristol County Inc  $148,440  Social programming and transportation for veterans in Bristol County  
Veterans Inc.  $356,170  Mobile Outreach Centers to support suicide prevention efforts in Central and Western Massachusetts  
VFW MA District 5  $7,948  Veteran community building and programming  
Volunteers of America Massachusetts  $477,709  Enhancements to veteran centers in Somerville and Plymouth to improve programming and peer support  
Western MA VSOA  $40,000  Outreach campaign and social programming in throughout Western Massachusetts 

The Veterans Reintegration Advisory Committee (VRAC), established through a legislative mandate, consists of private and nonprofit stakeholders addressing veterans’ mental health and suicideIn January 2024, VRAC released the report, “An Examination of Suicide Among Veterans and Their Reintegration into Society,” outlining a framework to reduce veteran suicide. 

The committee found that in Massachusetts, 1 in 9 suicides involved current or former military personnel, often impacted by mental health or substance use disorders, and more likely to attempt suicide by lethal means. Key strategies include systematic data collection, rapid access to treatment, investment in peer services, and comprehensive training for healthcare providers in military culture and suicide prevention. The VCI grants announced today aim to connect and support these efforts. 

For more information about the Veterans Community Initiative (VCI) Grant and the projects it supports, please contact (857)-303-6051.