Veterans Service Agency response to COVID-19

Local News

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Monroe County Veterans Service Agency and the Rochester Veterans Outreach Center are offering some new services in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Food pickup supply delivery and even emergency funds are all part of the new services available for veterans here at the Monroe county veterans service agency.

“We don’t normally do this the Monroe County veterans services we usually are an agency that handles benefits for veterans,” said Director Nicholas Stefanovic at the Monroe County Veterans Services.

Stefanovic’s agency has thousands of dollars worth of food, gift cards, and supplies for veteran’s in need.

“So we’re mostly focusing on those veterans who are less fortunate living in areas of higher poverty, that would need this stuff anyway but because of the crisis were in that’s limited,” Stefanovic said.

And they aren’t the only agency in town expanding its programs to help veterans.

Laura Stradley with the Rochester Veterans Outreach center is concerned about a shut down of services

“For out veteran population isolation is one of the worse things you can do particularly for vet who struggle with PTSD or other mental health issue,” Laura Stradley, Rochester Veterans Outreach.

They just launched their quartermaster program, where veterans can make an appointment to pick up food, supplies and other essential items.

They are also creating new online social connection programs, online fitness programming online, and virtual cooking classes, all to help make sure those who served our country are taken care of.

“The very sad fact is we know that veterans have a suicide rate that is twice that of non veterans in this country and here in New York state that number has doubled in the last five years,” said Stradley.

“When we take all of that away very abruptly we are really only looking at escalating those suicide numbers,” said Stradley.

Services through both of the agencies are available by appointment only and leaders just ask that veterans reach out if their looking for support.

Those looking for food and essential supplies through the Veterans Outreach Center Quartermaster progam can reach out to at 585-546-1081 to request items.

Those looking for supplies or emergency funds through the Monroe County Veteran’s Service Agency can reach out to 585-753-6040 or email at mcveterans@monroecounty.gov.

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