From Muskegon to Midland to Marquette, Michigan counties are securing and distributing COVID-19 emergency funding to veterans through the state’s new County Veteran Service Fund Emergency Relief (CVSF-ER) program.
As of June 24, 2020, 19 counties have been approved for a total of about $1.3 million in CVSF-ER funding, while three other counties are close to securing another $53,000 in the emergency relief assistance. Eligible veterans from all eras – both wartime and peacetime – in participating counties can use the money to make home and vehicle repairs, pay medical expenses and meet other needs determined emergent.
In addition, at least 18 counties so far are either participating or plan to participate in a CVSF-ER grocery voucher program for veterans through the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (MVAA) and Meijer. As the central coordinating agency for Michigan’s 550,000-plus veterans and their families, the MVAA facilitates the CVSF-ER program.
While the emergency assistance can help veterans hurt by the COVID-19 global pandemic, it also applies to emergent needs stemming from the central Michigan flooding in May. Both Midland and Gladwin counties, which were devastated by flooding, recently applied for and were approved for CVSF-ER grants.
“The State of Michigan is committed to supporting our veterans and their families during these challenging times and every day throughout the year,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “These brave men and women put their lives on the line to protect our freedoms and we will continue serving them as they served us.”
MVAA Director Zaneta Adams said Michigan veterans – especially peacetime-era veterans – often struggle to find benefits, which makes the CVSF-ER program a particularly beneficial resource.
“For those counties that opt-in, veterans of all eras can take advantage of emergency funding opportunities in their respective counties, while also becoming more familiar with resources that are available to them and their families,” Adams said. “No matter which era they served in, they deserve support when they need it the most, especially during these trying and uncertain times.”
Counties that have secured CVSF-ER funding thus far are Calhoun, Cheboygan, Eaton, Genesee, Gladwin, Gogebic, Ionia, Iosco, Isabella, Kalamazoo, Kent, Lenawee, Marquette, Midland, Missaukee, Muskegon, Oakland, Wayne and Wexford.
Counties working to secure CVSF-ER funding are Mecosta, Osceola and Roscommon.
Counties participating or planning to participate in the MVAA/Meijer grocery voucher program thus far are Calhoun, Cheboygan, Eaton, Genesee, Ionia, Isabella, Kalamazoo, Kent, Lenawee, Marquette, Mecosta, Midland, Missaukee, Muskegon, Oakland, Osceola, Wayne and Wexford.
The deadline for counties to apply for the CVSF-ER grant program is June 30, 2020. Counties can contact MVAA’s Karen Rowlader for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org or (517) 243-7675.
Veterans can find the Veteran Service Office in their county and learn more about CVSF-ER requirements and what may be available in their area at https://www.michiganveterans.com/find-benefits-counselor and clicking on the relevant county. Questions can also be directed to the MVAA’s Veteran Resource Service Center, which is available 24/7 at 1-800-MICH-VET.
“In Michigan, we consider those who have served and those presently serving to be ‘members for life,’ and the MVAA is that resource to provide support, care, advocacy and service to veterans and their families as they navigate their journey,” said Maj. Gen. Paul Rogers, Adjutant General and Director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. “The CVSF-ER program is another premier benefit that makes Michigan an ideal place for serving veterans and their families.”