The Programs Offered are Free and Confidential:
Peer-to-peer Support by Veterans
Lake County Veterans and Family Services Foundation (LCVFSF) recognizes that serving in the military is a unique experience that can only be understood by someone who has been there. That is why we have Veterans on our staff to support service members or Veterans in whatever way we can. We can be just someone to talk to or someone to guide you through the process of meeting your needs, whatever they may be.
Easy Links to Services Such as Emergency Housing
LCVFSF is the hub from where Service Members, Veterans or family members can find services or answers in Lake County and beyond. Rather than making multiple calls, let our certified veteran peer support specialists do the work to find just the right service provider to meet your needs, utilizing our network of community providers trained in military culture.
Screenings, Clinical Assessments and Referrals
When you call LCVFSF, we want to know how we can assist you. We will gather information from you to determine what your needs are and how to best help you achieve your goals. Our services include simple referrals by phone to other agencies for a single unmet need as well as preliminary screenings to identify all your needs and development of a plan to address them. LCVFSF staff will work with you at your comfort level and can walk with you as you work through your concerns.
Almost everyone needs someone to talk to at some time in their lives. The Foundation has built a network of trained clinicians who are mostly Veterans, family members of Veterans/Service Members, or who have valued proficiency working with those who have served. Their knowledge insures understanding of the unique needs of those with military experience and their families, including readjustment following separation, adjustment upon and during deployment and readjustment upon return, grief and loss, mood disorders, substance abuse, the effects of combat and military sexual trauma. The Service Member and/or family members are eligible for therapeutic services.
Case management, simply put, means we will assist you in whatever way we can to access services or benefits that you need, i.e. refer you to housing or counseling, research benefits you may be eligible for, find local resources for food, clothing, housing and jobs. Our peer support specialists will listen closely to what you want to accomplish and work with you at your comfort level to achieve your goal(s). We will help you understand and choose the options best for you.
LCVFSF is focused on alleviating crises for Veterans, Service Members and their families by partnering with other area agencies to provide options for those in crisis. Our staff is trained and available to take your call and help you through the times that seem hopeless, refer you to an appropriately safe place until the crisis over, and work with you afterward to develop a plan to avoid further crises or enable you to cope with future stressors. If you call our line after hours, you will be referred to a couple of crisis hotlines that are available 24/7, with one hotline specifically for Veterans.
Suicide Prevention Education
Knowledge is a powerful tool that can break the connection between depression and suicide. LCVFSF provides trainings in the community to increase understanding of mood disorders such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, and suicidal thoughts that can, but do not have to, lead to suicide. Learning symptoms and warning signs, identifying support and treatment options, and developing coping skills are all positive actions that can save your life or the life of someone you love.
Veteran and Family Support Groups
Our LCVFSF/Dryhootch Drop-in Center (DIC) is centrally located and offers various activities and support groups. iRest Yoga Nidra Meditation for anyone who serves or served or their family members, Friends of Bill Wilson 12-step Meeting for Veterans, and the Lake County Military Advisory Group all take place regularly at the DIC. Veteran Cup-a-Joe Coffee Groups take place at multiple coffee shops around Lake County to connect Veterans with other battle buddies. We look forward to even more activities and groups as we learn of the need or interest, so let us know. We are growing all the time, so call us for the latest information:
Consumer, Community and Provider Trainings
A very important goal of our Foundation is to educate all members of the community regarding unique issues that can arise as a result of military service. We provide regular trainings in various venues in the county to bring understanding and validation to Veterans, Service Members and their families and their possible struggles with deployment or reintegration, physical or emotional effects of post-combat trauma such as traumatic brain injury or post-traumatic stress, or military sexual trauma. We also bring clinical skills to providers so they are ready to help when they are asked, and to encourage the communities in which we live to gear up and meet the needs of veterans, service members and their families as they are sure to grow in the coming years.
Summer of 2015 brought the opening of our exclusive LCVFSF/Dryhootch Drop-In Center/Coffee House (DIC), where any veteran, service member or family member can stop by to have a cup of coffee and share with a staff veteran or family member; utilize our computers and free Wi-Fi to research resources or jobs; receive information regarding numerous programs and services available in the area, or seek case management or counseling services. They are also welcome to participate in various activities, events and volunteer opportunities offered at the DIC.