Vets get a home away from home

City College veterans will soon have another “safe haven” to come to with the opening of the Veteran Service Center.

The VSC is planned to open soon after spring break and will be located in room A-220, formerly the DSPS proctoring room.

Helen Elias, City’s dean of student development and matriculation, played a pivotal role in establishing the VSC, which manifested when she started asking questions like, “How are we serving our veterans other than through our traditional Veterans Affairs Office?”

This was a question she first encountered during her time at Southwestern College, where she was the head of the disabled student services program.

There her and her colleagues noticed a rapidly increasingly number of wartime veterans returning with visible and invisible disabilities.

To combat these disabilities they set out to create what Elias called a “trauma informed campus that welcomed veterans and provided them with opportunities to more easily transition.”

This is exactly the type of program that will be provided at the VSC through services such as counseling, student workshops, and mentoring programs.

Other amenities such as computer access will also be available, and the center will serve as a meeting ground for clubs like City’s Veterans for Peace.

“Safe haven” was a term used to describe the VSC by Elias and both the president and vice president of VFP, Maria Mustacchio and Bryce Schierenbech respectively.

According to Schierenbech, a wartime veteran himself, faculty and student veterans began holding meetings, or “flex workshops,” to pinpoint some of the troubles returning veterans were having — what developed was the VSC.

The VSC will be open from Monday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. sometime following spring break.

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Vets get a home away from home