Tyler Eschberger | Daily News Clyde Vincent, senior program manager of the Volunteers of America Mid-States.
Senior program manager of the Volunteers of America Mid-States, Clyde Vincent, is opening up an office in Middlesboro to help support veterans.
Vincent is a retired veteran of the Coast Guard, where he served 22 years. He has been involved with the Volunteers of America since 2005.
The program Vincent is part of is Supportive Services for Veteran Families. It entails helping veterans and their families get into and stay in housing.
“We cannot help with any mortgages. We are funded through the VA (Veteran’s Administration). We can help veterans get into housing and how we help them there is basically, we have outreach workers who go out and find housing that is available. And we can do is help them pay deposits for rent, utilities, water, gas…whatever they need. We can help with basic household supplies like a bed,” said Vincent.
When it comes to preventing veterans from becoming homeless, the program can help them catch up on payments if they fall behind on utilities or rent, he added.
There are only two qualifiers for the program. A veteran must have served at least one day of active service outside of training and they must not be dishonorable discharges.
When asked if he feels if veterans are under-served in the country in regard to helpful programs such as the Supportive Services for Veterans Families program, Vincent claimed that in some areas he believes so.
“In some areas, especially in the rural or Appalachian areas, there’s not a lot of services available for veterans. And sometimes when services are available it’s difficult to find out about it. For example, we don’t have an advertising budget where we can run ads and do stuff like that,” he said.
Vincent went on to state that sometimes they are able to run free ads on local television, but they usually run late at night.
“Some of the people we try to reach out to and help may not even have the resources available to where they can see these…I’ve always wanted to help out other veterans that are willing to help themselves,” he said.
Vincent stated that he will be working with other local veteran services to get the word out as much as possible.
Bell County is one of the five counties the Volunteers of America have roots in. The other four are Knox, Harlan, Whitley and McCreary counties.
The grand opening of the Middlesboro office will be held Sept. 11. It is located at 1632 Cumberland Ave., Suite 7.
For more information call the office at 606-302-5151, Clyde Vincent at 865-607-6231 or Frank Beck at 443-626-9208.
Reach Tyler Eschberger at 606-248-1010, ext. 1126 or on Twitter @TylerEsch89.
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