Media, Law & Policy
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has awarded a Legal Services for Homeless Veterans and Veterans-At-Risk for Homelessness Grant to the College of Law’s Betty and Michael D. Wohl Veterans Legal Clinic (VLC). The program is a first-of-its-kind grant opportunity from the VA to fund legal services providers.
To effectively deliver legal services to homeless and at-risk veterans throughout upstate New York, the VLC is partnering with:
- the Syracuse VA Medical Center’s Health Care for Homeless Veterans program;
- the Legal-Social Work Partnership program with the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics, which supports social work graduate students interested in working at the intersection of law and social work and promotes a stronger legal system that can address the holistic needs of clients; and
- SyracuseServes, a program of Syracuse University’s D’Aniello Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) located in the National Veterans Resource Center (NVRC), which supports a coordinated care network of local and national providers dedicated to serving the military community by collaborating to efficiently connect families to available services.
The grant program partners will identify, coordinate and deliver legal services that include discharge upgrades and complex disability claims assistance to this population.
“The VLC is honored to be part of this first-of-its-kind VA grant opportunity to fund legal service providers to better reach this vulnerable group of veterans. This is an excellent opportunity to deepen our relationship with the VA regarding the breadth of legal services the College of Law’s clinics can provide and to help shape further funding for legal services,” says Professor Beth Kubala, executive director of the VLC.
The VLC provides representation to veterans and their families who are seeking benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or upgrading an unfavorable discharge through the various military services. While representing real clients, College of Law student attorneys gain an understanding of military culture, interact with government agencies, develop case management skills, improve advocacy skills and instill the value of pro bono service.
“Our student attorneys benefit from gaining hands-on legal experience with real clients and our community benefits from veterans receiving the much-needed legal services they otherwise could not afford,” says Kubala.