“Network Hubs” Would Centralize Resources for Veterans
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) reintroduced the Helping Unleash Benefits and Services (HUBS) for Veterans Act, bipartisan legislation to support local “network hubs” which streamline access to essential resources for veterans, servicemembers, and their families.
“Colorado has a wide range of resources available for servicemembers, veterans, and their families. However, these essential services and resources are often spread across agencies and organizations, forcing veterans to navigate a confusing bureaucracy to access the benefits they earned,” said Bennet. “Already, communities in Colorado are recognizing the benefit of centralizing resources into a network hub that can best help individuals find support. The HUBS for Veterans Act would elevate this idea and increase access to resources for more veterans, meeting them where they are.”
“Navigating a number of streams of information to gain access to the resources they need can be a daunting and time-consuming task for many servicemembers transitioning from the military to civilian world,” said Crapo. “Many community-based organizations in Idaho have already stepped up to provide crucial long-term, holistic support and assistance. Prioritizing network hubs to help provide these servicemembers more wraparound services from one entry point would reduce the burden on veterans to navigate each path individually.”
“Here at the Mt. Carmel Veterans Service Center in Colorado Springs, we continue to see tremendous results in the ability of military members in transition to quickly attain job stability and self-sufficiency for themselves and their families. This is especially important now as our nation and those who served deal with the effects of COVID. Transition success happens when a variety of community programs and services are integrated at one location minimizing stress and maximizing access to critical support services. This model continues to be an effective way for a community to support servicemembers after duty to our nation is complete. Public private partnerships are 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.
The HUBS for Veterans Act would authorize a five-year pilot program to provide matching grant funds to non-profit organizations that offer access to multiple, wraparound services from one source, or “network hubs.” The bill directs the Department of Labor (DOL), 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 would also ensure that servicemembers receive information through the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) about network hubs located in the community in which they will reside once they become a civilian. TAP is an interagency collaboration between the Department of Defense, DOL, and VA that provides information to servicemembers and their families to help them transition from military service to civilian life.
Bennet and Crapo first introduced the HUBS for Veterans Act in 2018.
The bill text is available HERE.