THREE YEAR REVIEW OF THE CALIFORNIA VETERAN COMMUNITY
On behalf of our Board of Directors, we are grateful for the opportunity to deliver this 2020 Californian Veteran Community Report to our statewide partners. This is our third annual report prepared through the support of the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (MHSOAC).
CAVSA member agencies, their leadership and dedicated staff, worked diligently toward last year’s (2019-20) action recommendations. This past year has focused on working in partnership with an array of federal, state, and local elected officials, organizations, and agencies on strategies that will benefit veterans and their families. We are committed to working with a wide diversity of advocates, stakeholders, and policy makers to elevate veteran and veteran family well-being and mental health to a priority position on multiple policy, program, and budgetary agendas.
Legislators at the State and Federal levels have been key allies, as have mental and behavioral health agencies—those who explicitly serve veterans and those that have not been aware of serving veterans.
This report celebrates and honors the successes of those who work tirelessly to serve our military veterans. It does so by highlighting progress made over the past three years, by discussing unmet needs, and by identifying challenges that lie ahead. Considerable progress has been made over the past three years, and there is still much to be done.
CAVSA continues to believe that by working together, with the unparalleled support of public officials and stakeholders, Californians have the unique opportunity to compassionately and competently address the mental health and welfare needs of our veterans and all Californians.
We recognize our veteran constituents and their families are members of multiple groups with very diverse interests. Crossing barriers and working with other mental health stakeholders has been a critical component of our action agenda.
CAVSA and our member agencies continue to work to reduce the unacceptably high number of veterans who live in unsheltered homelessness and those burdened by poor mental and physical health. We support expanding state and federal housing and service programs to target aging veterans. We are also dedicated to preventing needless deaths due to suicide and opioid overdose. We honor the many veterans who are exiting from justice involvement to make better lives for themselves and their families, and those that continue to put their military skill sets to much-needed use in the civilian sector.
As you read this report including activity updates, new data, and accomplishments, we hope you will be inspired to join us as we forge new partnerships and strengthen collaborations to support California’s diverse veteran community.
We look forward to positive change in the coming years.
Stephen J. Peck
CAVSA Board President & U.S. VETS, President and CEO