We Help Service Members and Their Families

in Lake and McHenry Counties with care services, financial crisis, family support, peer counseling and camaraderie...free and confidentially, regardless of discharge status.
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Our Vision

Our Vision is to embed community developed services that provide 100% care for service Members and their families throughout our counties by establishing a network of certified services, volunteer Veterans and certified Veteran Peer Support Specialists.

Our Mission

Our mission is to connect Service Members and their families with each other and to the resources and benefits, they earned and deserve, free and confidentially regardless of discharge status. Through our professionally trained Veteran Peer Specialists, we provide “help from those who’ve been there” for support services, counseling, program resources, and a sense of hope and purpose.

Our Approach

The Lake County Veterans and Family Services Foundation is a 501c (3) non-profit organization founded in 2012. Originally a Department of Health and Human Services grant, today we are 100% funded by private donations which means we need your help to serve those in our Lake, McHenry and Southern Kenosha Counties who have served, sacrificed, and continue to struggle emotionally, financially and vocationally Through our professionally trained Veteran Peer Specialists, we provide “Help from Those Who’ve Been There” for support services, counseling, program resources, and a sense of hope and purpose.

Guiding Principles

Peer Support

Peer support is an essential component for our success. Those who have been there are the ones who can truly understand and guide someone through recovery from the impact of their military experiences.

A Community of Care

Community support is not bound by legal or traditional military restrictions. When issues emerge that affect our target consumer, we will engage all those affected.

Volunteerism and Employment

We believe that employment and volunteer work are significant contributors to an improved feeling of worthiness and normalcy for our target consumer.  Our focus is to develop these principles of connection in our community for veterans and their families.

Family Integrity

Our primary goal prior to, during, and after deployment is to keep families intact, engaged, and flourishing. We acknowledge support persons as a part of the family to be included in the process.


All interventions will be confidential, and any discussion or dissemination of information associated with the interaction of our programs or partners will be consumer-controlled.

Suicide and Homeless Prevention

Our support of programs that thwart suicide and homelessness is grounded in the value of developing the individual’s hope that things can get and stay better.


We will support programs that recruit, train, and certify the next generation of trauma-informed providers of our transformational care.

The Latest from LCVFSF

Help us reduce hunger and food insecurity among Veterans and young military families

We’ve all seen the long lines of cars and people waiting for food relief.  But we don’t tend to think that members of the military are among those suffering from not having enough food. Yet even before COVID-19, food insecurity challenged many service members and...

New (3-22-21)Lovell Federal Health Care COVID Vaccination Policy

LOVELL FEDERAL HEALTH CARE CENTER COVID-19 VACCINE INFORMATION HOW DO I SCHEDULE MY COVID-19 VACCINE? Review the four categories of eligibility below to see if you meet any element of the criteria in any one of the defined categories. 1.  You must be enrolled and...

AARP and Elizabeth Dole Foundation Announce Free Respite Relief Program for Veteran and Military Family Caregivers Going Nationwide

WASHINGTON, Feb. 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- AARP and the Elizabeth Dole Foundation (EDF) today announced the new Respite Relief Program for Military and Veteran Caregivers is going nationwide in 2021. This free program grants family caregivers access to no-cost,...

LCVFSF Presents Plaques Thanking Cup-A-Joe Hosts

  Cup-A-Joe meetings are gatherings of Veterans who share coffee, conversation, and comradery.  They are hosted by the owners of four establishments around Lake County and are supported by Lake County Veterans and Family Services Foundation. “We know that social...

Postvention — VA offers support after suicide loss

Veterans have a significantly higher suicide rate than other adults in the U.S. This means Veterans are also more likely to have known someone who took their own life. Uniting for Suicide Postvention (USPV) helps make sense of a suicide loss. The program connects...


We foster a community of care for serving the needs of Lake County Veterans and Families.

A community is only as strong as those who build it, and we need your help in the form of funding and volunteer services in order to sustain our objectives which are:

  • Connect Veterans with each other and the resources they need and deserve through a bond of trust.
  • Reduce the time it takes for a warrior to ask for help.
  • Provide 100% free and confidential services to Military, Veterans, Service Members, and their Families with service-related issues through a strong peer support network.
  • Educate and counsel families supporting Veterans or Service Members through trauma-informed care.
  • Raise competency in trauma-informed care.
  • Reduce Veteran hospitalizations.
  • Provide a safe environment for those in need to reduce the stigma associated with their needs.


• Post-traumatic Stress
• Domestic Violence
• Children’s Emotional Issues
• Legal Issues
• Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
• Substance Abuse
• Mood Issues, Suicidal Thoughts, Depression, Anxiety, Hopelessness
• Adjustment related to Deployment, Re-Deployment, Discharge or Reintegration
• Grief
• Education, Employment and Vocational Support
• Financial Support
• Housing/Homelessness


Accomplished in 2020

Measuring Our Mission

by the Numbers


People Engaged

Cases Handled

DryHooch Contacts


2020 Increase in All Contacts

Veterans Suicide

Veterans are 1.5 times more likely to die by suicide than Americans who never served in the military. For female veterans, the risk factor is 2.2 times more likely.

For years the number 22 represented the number of veterans committing suicide every day.  

In fact, the total number of suicides among veterans has increased four of the last five years on record. From 2007 to 2017, the rate of suicide among veterans jumped almost 50 percent.

Veteran Leadership

“The Lake County Veterans and Family Services Foundation is guided and staffed by Veterans who have been there. “

Now and over the coming years, many Veterans, military members, and their families will go through a transition to the civilian world.  Many will need support and guidance. Warrior training makes it difficult for them to reach out for help. We want to make it easier and safer by providing support guided and provided by those who’ve been there.

Those We Have Helped

“We’re learning something new while Daddy’s away.”  Mother and daughter take archery lessons together.

When LCVFSF began offering free archery lessons, it caught the attention of Navy spouse Elizabeth Hernandez.  “When my husband Eliseo is deployed, my daughter and I try to find something to do together so we can show him what we’ve done while he’s gone.”

Eleven-year old Isela finds archery challenging and fun, Elizabeth says. “She’s working hard to show Daddy what she’s accomplishing.  We’re both learning a lot about the sport and about ourselves.”

Both Elizabeth and Isela plan to continue the lessons at least until Eliseo is scheduled to comes home in December.  

If you are interested in learning more about free archery lessons, call LCVFSF at 847-986-4622.

Sharon Epps is the author of several books of poetry and is an accomplished motivational speaker.  As the keynote speaker at our 5th Annual Chat ‘N Chew, Sharon spoke of the loss of her elder brother Eddie in Vietnam and what it meant to her and her family.  Eddie Lee Walker was 19, served as an Army infantryman and was killed after only 85 days in Vietnam.   Sharon had never told the story of the loss until Chat ‘N Chew in February.  As a result of her story telling, she asked us if we could recover the medals and citations that Eddie had won. She and her family desperately wanted them to memorialize Eddie Lee’s service.

Veteran Peer Specialist Dean Adams went to work and got Eddie’s DD214 and his medals: the Combat Infantry Badge, the National Defense, Good Conduct, Vietnam Campaign, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Gallantry, and Purple Heart.  Dean mounted all of them with his 4th Infantry patch in a beautiful shadow box that will be presented to Sharon by her colleague, Dr. Mary Roberson.

If you need Veteran or service member research done, contact us and we will do our best,

For the past two years, a local caring citizen has been on a mission.  He gathers and refurbishes used computers and then donates them to a charity that help Veterans get jobs.

Paul Gerdes seeks out old computers, then cleans them up and installs equipment that makes them operate as good as new. He started by donating a few of his finished products to Mitch Siegel, who works as a Job Developer for Catholic Charities.

The laptops and desktops grew over the past few months to a total of 40.  “We’re grateful to Paul for his generosity and commitment to helping Veterans,” Mitch said.  “It’s a time in which more and more people are working from home.  These computers are essential to making that happen.”

If you have a computer you’d like to donate, please contact Paul at jstechproducts@mailfence.com

The 2020 Annual Report

Click to download

DryHootch Coffee Center

100 So. Atkinson, Suite 110
Grayslake, Illinois 60030

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