HAVERHILL, MA AND SOUTHEASTERN, NH —If you are a veteran in need, Veterans Northeast Outreach Center (VNOC) wants to help.
“We remain open to any veteran in need during this coronavirus pandemic,” said Executive Director Ed Mitchell, who noted the agency is prepared to meet “any influx of veterans.”
“In the event hospitals get overwhelmed, we will be set up to receive more veterans in a shelter type of environment,” he added.
Noting they serve veterans and their families throughout Essex, Middlesex and Barnstable Counties in Massachusetts and Rockingham County in New Hampshire, Mitchell said their food bank remains open Tuesdays and Thursdays.
“They can call us and state their needs, and we can arrange the best time to drive by,” he said. “We will bring food out to them.”
Mitchell said temporary changes have also been enacted in how food may be distributed to all area residents in need.
“Those who receive USDA food from the Merrimack Valley Food Bank may temporarily give it to families according to a set of income guidelines that just came out,” he said. “Call us or MVFB for more information.”
For veterans who live in one of VNOC’s 12 properties throughout Essex and Middlesex Counties, Mitchell said staff are monitoring them 24/7.
“We are taking their temperatures twice a day and ensuring they practice social distancing and following other CDC guidelines,” he said. “We are also still providing hot meals to our veterans in these properties, packaging them up and delivering them.”
John Ford, service center and development director, said they are also working with Servpro to professionally clean their properties.
“Servpro is stepping up to make sure we have the safest environment for our veterans,” he said. “In this time of extreme need and uncertainty, VNOC is very fortunate to have the assistance and support of so many individuals and businesses…We will get through this together.”
VNOC also provides transportation to veterans.
“If a veteran has a medical appointment that cannot be changed, call us,” said Mitchell. “We can help.”
Noting there have been no cases of COVID-19 among any of their residents, Mitchell said VNOC staff are committed to meet “the full spectrum of needs” of veterans and their families during this time of crisis.
“Our services are not limited to food and shelter,” he said. “We provide case management, counseling, advocacy, employment, education and more. We are here around the clock and, with our many community partners, will continue to rally around veterans and their families.”
Founded in 1985, VNOC serves thousands of veterans and their families annually in northeast Massachusetts and Rockingham County, New Hampshire.
To learn more, or to seek assistance, visit vneoc.org or call 978-372-3626.