Left to right on platform) Byron Reed, head of Community Development for L.A. Metro/Orange County, Lefky Mansi, L.A. Metro Community Bank area president, Gregg Scott, New Directions President and CEO, and Brian McCullough, Wells Fargo Military Affairs Manager pose with Veteran Affairs Color Guard and veterans (all in uniform) at news conference.
Wells Fargo held a news conference in West Los Angeles recently to announce a partnership between Wells Fargo and New Directions, a nonprofit military veterans agency dedicated to empowering and facilitating veterans’ successful return to their families and civilian life. During the event Wells Fargo presented New Directions with a $100,000 grant that will support a variety of programs to assist veterans.
Specifically, the grant will promote and expand New Direction’s ability to provide veterans with long-term transitional housing, substance abuse treatment, mental health and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) support, counseling, remedial education, vocational training and employment assistance, family reunification, parenting classes, and help in obtaining permanent housing.
“I am both humbled and overwhelmed by the commitment that Wells Fargo has demonstrated to our veterans,” said New Directions President and CEO Gregory C. Scott. “Their leadership is more than just stepping up as corporate philanthropists, or offering some jobs to veterans. It is a genuine partnership. What Wells Fargo is launching will have life-long positive impacts on many men and women who have sacrificed much for our country.”
Additionally, Wells Fargo has created a Military Affairs Program to elevate its efforts in serving active duty military and veterans. As part of the program, Wells Fargo has identified three top initiatives, which include placing added focus on getting active duty military and veterans into homes, helping veterans get back to work, and providing financial education training. As the number one originator of VA loans, Wells Fargo continues to help provide safe, sustainable housing to veterans and active duty military through quality mortgages, financial assistance and donations via non-profit organizations.
“Many veterans, as they look to transition back into civilian life, are in need of resources that provide access to health services, employment, a home and financial stability,” Byron Reed, Senior Vice President for Wells Fargo. “Wells Fargo is proud to join in partnership with New Directions to offer access to these resources and opportunities for our veterans. Through this partnership, Wells Fargo is once again extending far beyond just being a leading provider of financial products and services, it also involves working closely with nonprofits to create long-term economic growth and provide access to adequate resources in the communities we serve.”
Los Angeles has the largest population of homeless military veterans in the nation. Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) estimates that more than 8,000 homeless veterans live on the city’s streets, accounting for eleven percent (11%) of all homeless veterans nationwide. Many them suffer from co-occurring disorders, say medical experts, including substance abuse, mental illness and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as well as chronic medical problems.