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 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.
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.
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
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.
Major Resource Partners
The Very Latest from LCVFSF
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.
“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.
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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.
Debra Lewis retired from the Navy in 2010. But she’s found a new military family by attending LCVFSF’s Cup-A-Joe, a gathering of people who share coffee, camaraderie and connection
“Even after a long day, I really look forward to Cup-A-Joe because it’s just like going home to family,” said Debra. “Everyone there has the common bond of military service, so people connect and conversations flow.
“For two hours, you can escape ‘the new normal’ and Covid and enjoy being around others just like you. It’s re-energizing.”
Debra attends the Cup-A-Joe held on the first and third Mondays from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the JIC Multipurpose Center, 202 South Genesse Street, Waukegan.
LCVFSF is all about connecting. Sometimes a face-to-face conversation. Going to Cup-A-Joe is like “coming home to family”.
For the past two years, an Island Lake man 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.”
THE 2019 ANNUAL REPORT
DryHootch Coffee Center
100 So. Atkinson, Suite 110
Grayslake, Illinois 60030
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