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New resources for vets in Thurston County

Educating and assisting veterans

There will also now be weekly meetings of the Veterans’ Housing Options Group every Monday at 1 p.m. (except holidays) at the Catholic Community Service’s Drexel House in Olympia. Photo credit: Kevin Knodell

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Veterans, whether old timers or recently discharged and living in Thurston County can look forward to a wide range of new services available to them.

"There are a lot of big changes coming for vets," said Lou McElroy, chairperson of the Thurston County Veterans' council.

For starters, the Tacoma and Federal Way Vet Centers are now offering services at the new Lacy Veteran Services office at South Sound Community College. There are a wide range of services available from individual and group counseling, marriage and family therapy, couples counseling, bereavement counseling, military sexual assault trauma counseling and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder counseling.

All services are free of charge but require an appointment. Counselors are available for appointments on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

"(We're) working on a passport that veterans will take with them to the different organizations. This passport will have spaces for the name of the organization, who they contacted and what the result was," said McElroy. "This will help because some organizations have programs that require you to do everything you can to help yourself."

There are weekly meetings of the Veterans' Housing Options Group every Monday at 1 p.m. (except holidays) at the Catholic Community Service's Drexel House in Olympia. The group is for homeless veterans or those in danger of losing their housing in the near future.

The group educates veterans about housing programs and opportunities with the Washington State Department of Veterans' Affairs, VA Puget Sound, Catholic Community Services, Supportive Services for Veteran Families and the Thurston County Veterans' Assistance Fund.

The local Thurston County Veterans' Assistance Fund helps eligible veterans and/or family members with housing assistance ranging from rent, mortgage assistance and shelter. They meet in two locations - the Lacey Veteran Services Office and the Thurston County Public Health & Social Services Department.

The VA Homeless Medical Team on Tuesdays is at Union Gospel Mission in the mornings and Drexel House in the afternoons. "This team has several people on it to include a nurse practitioner and social worker," said McElroy.

"There is so many good things happening that I hope will help veterans in Thurston County."

Vet Center, 4232 6th Ave. SE, Suite 201, Lacey,  253.565.7038 or 253.565.7073

Drexel House, 604 Devoe St. SE, Olympia, 360.753.3340

Thurston County Veterans' Assistance Fund, 360.867.2625

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