The Bob Woodruff Foundation Publishes Comprehensive Study on Veterans’ Needs Nationwide￼
June 8, 2022 (NEW YORK) – The Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF) announced today the publication of “Got Your 6 Network: Quantifying and Addressing Veterans’ Needs,” a new white paper quantifying veterans’ needs and the capacities of America’s local communities to address those needs. Using extensive data from community partners in BWF’s Got Your 6 Network, the paper found that most needs that veterans experience are only partially met in American communities. Continually learning from the members of its network, the Bob Woodruff Foundation is committed to sharing their insights and to contributing to national and local discussions about how best to serve U.S. veterans.
“This comprehensive white paper confirms what many of us suspected. Our collaborative community-based efforts are providing many necessary services to veterans but so many of their needs simply aren’t being met,” said Anne Marie Dougherty, the Chief Executive Officer of the Bob Woodruff Foundation. “The data clearly show that we are making a difference, but we still have so much work to do for veterans.”
The 2021 data compiled in the white paper tell a sobering story of the challenges that some veterans are confronting and the challenging work that American communities face in helping them. In particular, the percentages of BWF’s community partners that report seeing widespread need for mental health services, food and nutrition support, and emergency financial assistance among veterans were much higher in 2021 than they were two years earlier. The survey data confirm the complex, varying, and overlapping needs of transitioning veterans. Topline data from the paper include:
- 53 percent of responding communities indicated that many or almost all of the veterans they serve experience difficulties related to housing or homelessness.
- 83 percent of the community partners indicated that either many or almost all of the veterans who seek their support request help with employment.
- Similarly, 67 percent of BWF’s community partners reported that many or almost all of their veteran clients request food or nutrition assistance, but 72 percent of communities seeing any food-related needs among veterans could not fully satisfy them. Likewise, 53 percent of surveyed communities reported significant needs for assistance with housing or homelessness, but 70 percent of communities where veterans face housing needs were unable to satisfy them completely.
The information comes from community partners in the Got Your 6 Network, more than 90 percent of which responded to BWF’s 2021 survey. Representing more than 3,000 organizations across all 50 states, the Got Your 6 Network is providing a wide range of services to the military/veteran community, including basic subsistence, health and substance abuse, employment and education, social integration, and family needs. However, relatively few of BWF’s partners are completely addressing the full range of needs they are seeing among veterans.
The data were collected using the Local Partner Self-Assessment Tool (LPSAT), a biennial survey created by the Bob Woodruff Foundation. The survey aims to identify the strengths and areas of improvement of BWF’s nationwide network of community-based partnerships that support veterans and other military-affiliated populations. The data from the LPSAT illustrate the ways in which American communities across the spectrum of locations, economies, cultures, and infrastructure are trying to meet the needs of those populations. The first LPSAT was conducted in the fall of 2019 and gathered data from 81 percent of BWF’s community partners. Two years later, in June and July 2021, the second LPSAT was completed by 91 percent of BWF’s community partners. As a result, BWF now has data from before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing further exploration of the unique and ongoing issues affecting community-based partnerships.
About the Bob Woodruff Foundation
The Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF) was founded in 2006 after reporter Bob Woodruff was wounded by a roadside bomb while covering the war in Iraq. Since then, BWF has led an enduring call to action for people to stand up for heroes and meet the emerging and long-term needs of today’s veterans, including mental health, caregiver support, food insecurity, and service-connected fertility issues. To date, BWF has invested over $85 million to Find, Fund and Shape™ programs that have empowered impacted veterans, service members, and their family members, across the nation, reinforcing the message that BWF has ‘Got Your Six’. For more information, as well as stories of success and innovation from BWF’s network of partners, please visit bobwoodrufffoundation.org or follow us on Twitter at @bwforg.