Philadelphia offers new resource to veterans

 Team RWB Philadelphia at the Spartan Beast New Jersey 2015 (Image courtesy of Edward Rondon)

Team RWB Philadelphia at the Spartan Beast New Jersey 2015 (Image courtesy of Edward Rondon)

Philadelphia veterans can now easily find area resources with help from a new online tool.

The city’s localized version of the website networkofcare.org helps vets connect with employment opportunities, provider information and crisis numbers. The site also tracks relevant legislation and lets users create personal folders to save information.

The website can assist veterans in a way Veterans Affairs isn’t able to, said Dr. Arthur Evans, head of the Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Disability Services.

“There are needs that go beyond what the VA can reasonably offer. It is a health care organization primarily,” said Evans. “There are many resources that vets need that are community based, and this provides a compendium of resources that people can access.”

The resource may be especially important for vets who aren’t eligible for VA benefits, Evans said.

While the website is tailored to veterans, it also gives the groups who serve them some needed visibility.

Amanda Rondon is captain of the Philadelphia chapter of Team Red, White and Blue, an activity club for veterans and their families. The new website is a great way for groups like hers to get the word out, she said.

“There’s so many groups out there that are looking to serve vets that just don’t have that avenue to funnel people to them,” said Rondon.

As more veterans look to connect with other vets, Rondon said, Philly membership in Team Red, White and Blue has grown by nearly 500 percent in just two years.

Philadelphia hosts a similar website for those re-entering society after leaving prison as well as one for those with mental health questions.

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