Bennet Reintroduces “Network Hubs” Bill to Enhance Access to Resources for Veterans

Washington, D.C. – Colorado U.S. Senators Michael Bennet today reintroduced the Helping Unleash Benefits and Services (HUBS) for Veterans Act of 2019, bipartisan legislation to enhance access to essential resources for veterans, servicemembers, and their families by supporting local “network hubs.”

“Colorado has some of the best resources for servicemembers, veterans, and their families, but navigating organizations to find support can be frustrating and time-consuming,” Bennet said. “Communities in Colorado have already taken the lead in establishing network hubs that offer a trusted, single point of entry to a variety of resources. Our bill recognizes that supportive services are most effective when used in conjunction with one another, giving network hubs further support to help veterans cut through bureaucracy.”

Bill Background

Currently, veterans must navigate a number of organizations and agencies to find the resources they need—a process that is often confusing and time-consuming. The HUBS for Veterans Act would authorize a five-year pilot program to provide matching grant funds to “network hubs,” non-profit organizations that offer access to multiple, wraparound services from one source. The bill directs the Department of Labor, in consultation with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), to prioritize network hubs that provide job recruitment training, educational support services, financial services, entrepreneurship training, behavioral health services, and assistance in accessing benefits administered by the VA.

The bill also would ensure that servicemembers receive information through the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) program about network hubs located in the community in which they will reside once they become a civilian. TAP is an interagency collaboration between the Departments of Defense, Labor, and Veterans Affairs that provides information to servicemembers and spouses to help them transition from military service to civilian life.

The bill text is available HERE.

Colorado Support

“Here at the Mt. Carmel Veterans Service Center in Colorado Springs, we have seen tremendous results in the ability of troops in transition to quickly attain job stability and self-sufficiency for themselves and their families. This occurs when a variety of community programs and services are integrated at one location minimizing stress and maximizing access to critical support services. This model has proven to be an effective way for a community to support servicemembers after duty to our nation is complete. Public private partnership is the cornerstone of this success.” – Bob McLaughlin, Chief Operating Officer for Mt. Carmel Veterans Service Center, a one-stop center for transitioning military, veterans, and their families

“Just as it takes multiple branches of the military working together to fight and win our nation’s wars, hubs that coordinate cooperation among veteran service organizations, nonprofits, private industry, and government institutions are just as vital to ensuring successful transition from a life of service in the military to civilian life. This legislation that financially supports hubs and this cooperation will be key to accomplishing that mission.” – David Ortiz, Junior Vice Commander and Program Director, VFW Post 1