By Major General U.S. Army (RET) Paulette Risher President/CEO, Still Serving Veterans
Still Serving Veterans (SSV) is a 15-year-old Huntsville-based nonprofit whose primary mission is to help Veterans, service members, members of the Guard and Reserves and their families build meaningful lives by connecting them with good jobs, the benefits they have earned, and the services they need. We also are dedicated to being leaders in the Veterans community and a collaborative partner at the local, regional, and state level.
SSV takes a tailored, relationship-based approach to assisting our clients. We start where the client is. For example, if a client is seeking employment and just needs help with a resume, we begin there. However, if they are struggling with deciding what they want to do with their lives, we can walk that path with them. While we are committed to operating with the discipline of a business, we are a decidedly human-centered organization. All of our counselors are Veterans and most of our staff are either Veterans or military spouses. All of our services are offered at no cost. We are called to this work.
SSV is continually expanding our capabilities and impact. At any given time, we are helping some 1,800 clients from our local area and beyond. So far this year, in spite of COVID, SSV has helped over 800 Veterans find good jobs, shared over 900 job opportunities on behalf of our employer partners, and secured over $2.1 million in VA benefits.
One of SSV’s growing services is to act as a connector of Veterans in critical life situations with community service providers. Likewise, SSV is able to connect organizations and individuals desiring to help Veterans with those who are truly in need. As the volume of calls for assistance and offers of help have increased, so too has the geographical reach. SSV regularly receives calls from all over North Alabama which is home to some 80,000 Veterans.
In order to meet the growing need for community collaboration and information exchange, SSV has established a North Alabama Veteran Resource Network (NAV-R-Net) which is a “coalition of the willing and capable” service providers – including regional nonprofits; churches; and, state, regional, and local agencies. Raytheon Technologies, a long-time supporter of SSV, has provided a community grant for start-up, and SSV was able to share with NAV-R-Net members a generous grant from the Bob Woodruff Foundation to assist food-insecure Veterans. While still in its infancy, NAV-R-Net is just one more way SSV is able to lead and collaborate in service of our Veterans.
On a personal level, being the President/CEO of Still Serving Veterans is such an honor. This is a great organization doing wonderful work on behalf of our Veterans. It is such a pleasure to work with this dedicated staff and to enjoy the support of our SSV Board of Directors. If you are a Veteran in need of services, or if you would like to donate to help us continue work, please visit SSV.org. As a Veteran and someone who loves living in South Huntsville, I salute you!