The All-In-One Guide to Atlanta Veterans Resources
As a U.S. military veteran, your service has earned you a wide range of benefits and support. However, sorting through the list and accessing the resources in your area can be a daunting task. Today, as part of our city spotlight series, we highlight the resources available to veterans in Atlanta, Georgia.
Unfortunately, veteran homelessness is a pervasive issue in the Atlanta area, and while current rates are higher than the national average – veterans account for 15 percent of the Atlanta homeless population, compared to 11 percent nationally – local groups have been working hard to push that number down. In fact, the Atlanta United Way’s Vet Connect program has been instrumental in helping reduce the percent of homeless veterans down from its previous levels at 21 percent. Vets Connect notes that of the more than 2,000 homeless veterans in the Greater Atlanta area, 80 percent qualify for support services, but only 32 percent gain access to services without the assistance of a support organization. Vets Connect works to combine peer outreach, intensive case management, supportive housing, job training and employment opportunities to veterans in need.
Another helpful resource for Atlanta veterans is the Georgia Department of Veterans Service, headquartered in Atlanta at the Floyd Veterans Memorial Building on M.L.K. Jr. Dr. The state department maintains the mission of helping veterans and their families understand and apply for the benefits they’ve earned through their military service. The list of services includes benefits assistance, appeals support, education and training (ranging from university to technical or flight school), information skilled nursing homes for veterans, and access to two memorial cemeteries.
For veterans seeking health care, the Atlanta VA Medical Center is located at 1670 Clairmont Road and can be reached via the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) bus route 19. The center sits on 26 acres and provides patient-centered healthcare via an array of comprehensive medical, surgical, and geriatric specialty services, as well as state-of–the-art diagnostic testing. The Bronze Clinic is a Geriatric Primary Care Clinic, and also offers emergency care, hospice, and palliative care on an inpatient and outpatient basis. The center also offers specialized support and care for caregivers, homeless veterans, returning service members, and female veterans. Its mental health services help treat PTSD, substance abuse, and addiction in vets.
The Georgia branch of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) helps Atlanta veterans and their families suffering from depression or PTSD better cope with and manage their condition. There are local chapters scattered throughout Atlanta that provide mental health services and regular support group meetings for veterans and their families. The NAMI Homefront program is a free, six-session educational program designed to address the unique needs of family, caregivers and friends of those who have served or are currently serving our country, and is taught by trained family members of service members/veterans living with mental health conditions. To speak confidentially with a Vet Center Counselor 24 hours a day, veterans can call 877-WAR-VETS (927-8387).
For veterans of oversea conflicts looking to socialize with other veterans, the Veterans of Foreign War (VFW) Post 10822 located at 1548 Mt. Vernon Rd. in Dunwoody is a great place to start, although the VFW Department of Georgia supports eight separate districts and more than 100 local posts. With regular monthly meetings, social gatherings, and trained support in VA affairs, the VFW is a great support mechanism for military members and their families.
Written by Megan Hammons