Bennet, Crapo Introduce Bill to Increase Access to Veterans’ Services

“Network Hubs” Offer Multiple, Wraparound Services from One Source

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Mike Crapo (R-ID) today introduced 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 networks that offer a trusted, single point of entry to resources. Our bill will provide further support to network hubs so servicemembers, veterans, and their families can cut through bureaucracy.”

“The transition out of military service into the civilian world can prove a particularly overwhelming and daunting task for veterans and their families,” Crapo said.  “Many community-based and nonprofit organizations across the nation, including in Idaho, have stepped up to provide crucial long-term, holistic support and assistance to servicemembers.  Ensuring their ongoing success is a top priority.”

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. This legislation would authorize a five-year pilot program to provide matching grant funds to “network hubs,” organizations that offer access to multiple, wraparound services from one source. The bill directs the Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary to prioritize network hubs that provide job recruitment training, financial services, entrepreneurship training, and behavioral health services.

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.