Robin Hood, New York City's largest private funder of antipoverty programs, today announced a new collaborative effort with the White House and the Bloomberg Administration to better connect returning veterans and their families to the services and opportunities they need to succeed.
The announcement was made at the Robin Hood Veterans Summit (#RHVETS), an allday conference on board the U.S.S. Intrepid that brought together 400+ leaders from the military, veterans groups, non-profit organizations, local, state and federal government, medicine, and the media.
Last year, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden launched their Joining Forces initiative as a way to mobilize all sectors of society in support of America's veterans, service members and their families. "Robin Hood is doing exactly what Joining Forces is all about. They are, as the First Lady often says 'stepping up and doing what they do best,' positively impacting our veterans and families in the most meaningful of ways – through their employment, education and well-being," said Navy Captain Brad Cooper, the Executive Director of Joining Forces in the White House.
"As the young men and women of our Armed Services return from combat, it is our duty as a City to work together with the same resolve America's veterans have shown our nation," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Our partnership with the Robin Hood Foundation is designed to help our City's veterans build better lives, find jobs and homes, and help our City improve the services they count on. It's our turn to stand up for those who stood up for our nation and we hope our programs will serve as a model for what other cities can do, as well."
"Robin Hood looks forward to its new collaborative effort with the White House and to continuing our important work with the Bloomberg Administration," said David Saltzman, executive director of Robin Hood. "With unemployment for our youngest veterans more than three times the national average, it's more important than ever that we find real-world solutions to the challenges facing our veterans and their families."
The hardships facing today's veterans are staggering: twenty percent of adults living on NYC streets are veterans; two-thirds of veterans who are fortunate enough to find a job lose that job within one year; and, nearly twenty percent of all suicides in the U.S. are veterans. In February, 2011, Robin Hood announced the creation of its Veterans Advisory Board, co-chaired by Admiral Michael Mullen, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Steven A. Cohen, founder of S.A.C. Capital Advisory, L.P. The Board is focused on finding and developing the most effective poverty fighting models to help veterans. Over the past year, Robin Hood donors have generously contributed more than $13 million to create the Robin Hood Veterans Fund, which has made more than $4.7 million in grants to 17 different programs, connecting veterans and their families to essential services throughout New York City. In addition to the White House announcement, the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University discussed its "Leading Practices" work, which was developed in collaboration with more than 40 of the nation's leading employers of veterans, and is a comprehensive effort to create a veteran-focused toolkit for employers. The Institute is entering into a partnership with Robin Hood and management consulting firm McKinsey & Company to build upon this work, and help put it in the hands of employers throughout New York City and across the country.
Moderators and panelists at today's conference included Admiral Mullen; General Stanley McChrystal (ret), former Commander of U.S. and International Forces in Afghanistan; General Peter W. Chiarelli (ret), former Vice Chief of Staff for the U.S. Army; U.S. Senator Patty Murray; Shaun Donovan, U.S. Secretary for Housing and Urban Development, and many others. A complete list can be found on the Robin Hood web site at www.robinhood.org/rhvets
Video highlights and photographs from today's event is available for free and unrestricted use at: www.forummedia.us/robinhood
About Robin Hood
Since 1988, Robin Hood has distributed more than $1.1 billion to hundreds of the best poverty-fighting programs in New York City. Robin Hood finds, funds and creates programs and schools that generate meaningful results for families in New York's poorest neighborhoods. Robin Hood's board of directors pays all administrative, fundraising and evaluation costs, so 100% of every donation goes directly to organizations helping New Yorkers in need.
For Robin Hood
Jo Flattery, 917-699-4374
Patty Smith, 212-844-3562