Spark Grants - Veterans Affairs
Veterans Affairs (November 2017)
More than 50,000 veterans plus their families live and work in Lehigh and Northampton counties. Despite the heavy concentration of veterans in the Valley, there is no local, major military installation nearby on which serving military guard and reservist families can rely while serving or to answer the questions and problems which arise upon and after leaving service. A study commissioned by the state found that Pennsylvania has an inconsistent provisioning of services and benefits, and an arcane and ineffective bureaucracy.
- Online Application Available: June 1, 2017 - APPLY NOW - CLICK HERE
- Application Deadline: June 30, 2017
- Grants Announced: November 30, 2017
Please direct grant inquiries and questions to:
About the Spark Grant Process
To assist grantees in understanding and navigating the Spark Grants process, there are two FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions):
50th Anniversary Spark Grants FAQ - (PDF) This FAQ outlines what the Spark Grants will fund, the amounts of the grants, the organizations that can apply, the types of programs that are eligible, the written and video phases of the application, and more.
Spark Grant Application FAQ - (PDF) This FAQ provides answers related to the Foundation’s online grants management system including how to create an account, what information is needed, and the file formats that are best, etc.
The Online Application
The application for Veterans Affairs Spark Grants using Foundation’s online grants management system will open June 1, 2017.
The Spark Team will select proposals for funding based on the following evaluation criteria:
Written portion of the application (Phase 1)
Video portion of the application (Phase 2) which includes:
Public preferences, as evidenced through community ‘voting’
Applicant’s overall engagement with the campaign
Foundant Tutorial and Instructional Videos
Below are two videos that may be helpful in understand the Foundant online application, in addition, a Foundant Tutorial is available as a (PDF) :
Setting up a regular applicant registration page
Applicant Workflow with Decision Information
MAKE A GIFT | 50th Anniversary Spark Grant Initiatives for Veterans Affairs
Gifts in the form of a check can be made payable to the Spark Grants - Veterans Affairs and mailed to The Lehigh Valley Community Foundation, 840 West Hamilton Street, Suite 310, Allentown, PA 18101. Gifts can also be made via credit card by clicking the PayPal 'Donate' button below. A PayPal account is not required to make an online gift to the Fund. Gifts to the fund will be used to support the Community Foundation's funding of organizations in Northampton and Lehigh Counties who provide mental and behavioral health services and education.
MAKING THE CASE | VETERANS AFFAIRS
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, returning veterans struggle to overcome combat experiences leading to mental health issues and financial instability. These military service members experience trauma in the form of combat injuries, repeated deployments and relocations, along with military sexual violence. As a result of this stress, many veterans in the United States are homeless, mentally ill, and struggle with substance abuse.
With a lack of proper health care services these community members struggle to overcome their wartime experiences. The Lehigh Valley community is home to over 50,000 veterans some of which are struggling to overcome some of these issues. By sparking change, the community can begin to transform the lives of deserving veterans.
WHY DOES THIS ISSUE MATTER?
- By one annual count, at least 9 to 12 homeless veterans are living in the Lehigh Valley.
- The Department of Veterans Affairs offers more veteran services to surrounding urban areas, than to the Lehigh Valley– despite being the third largest metropolitan area in the state with one of the largest and heaviest concentrations of veterans. http://www.lv-mac.org/
- In the United States, 11% of the homeless adult population is veterans, 50% have serious mental illness, and 70% battle substance abuse. http://nchv.org/index.php/news/media/background_and_statistics/
- In Lehigh County, homeless veterans are as young as 21 and as old as 78. http://www.mcall.com/news/local/allentown/mc-allentown-hope-for-veterns-20150601-story.html
- In 2016, the Lehigh Valley Homeless Veterans Task Force had on average 20 veterans in their system. http://www.wfmz.com/news/lehigh-valley/lehigh-county-stands-up-for-homeless-veterans/21481618
- Every day, approximately 22 American veterans commit suicide, totaling over 8,000 veteran suicides each year. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2015/02/04/the-missing-context-behind-a-widely-cited-statistic-that-there-are-22-veteran-suicides-a-day/?utm_term=.253bc2e80ba5
- In 2014, Pennsylvania had 364,219 veterans between the ages of 18 and 64, which was 4.6 percent of the comparable population in the state. http://www.workstats.dli.pa.gov/Documents/Veterans_Packet.pdf
- In 2016, there were 530 Pennsylvania veterans claiming Unemployment Compensation benefits. http://www.workstats.dli.pa.gov/Documents/Veterans_Packet.pdf
- In 2014, the unemployment rate for veterans was 5.7 %. http://www.workstats.dli.pa.gov/Documents/Veterans_Packet.pdf
- In the United States, 51% of individual homeless veterans have disabilities. http://nchv.org/index.php/news/media/background_and_statistics/