“We never anticipated how hard the transition out of the Army would be. COVID has impacted our family in so many different ways. Being a caregiver or a veteran, you already feel isolated. COVID has only intensified the sense of isolation. Code of Support gave us a deeper sense of connection and resources. We recommend Code of Support — Thank you for supporting our family.”

— The Brown Family

In 2020, Code of Support saw a more than 200% increase in requests for our help. Cases continue to increase by 5% each week. The news from our front-line Peer Navigators remains consistent: our veterans and caregivers who live on the edge are now in danger of falling over.

HERE’S HOW CODE OF SUPPORT IS SERVING THOSE WHO SERVED US

EMPLOYMENT

17% of military spouses employed before the pandemic reported they had lost their job or could not find work. It is estimated that unemployment among military spouses could spike as high as 34% by the end of the pandemic.

Code of Support stands with every veteran family impacted by the pandemic. Our trained Peer Navigators continue to open new cases while at the same time employment searches on PATRIOTlink have increased five-fold since March.

FOOD INSECURITY

Nearly 23,000 military families use the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) though many eligible veterans do not apply, and others are denied SNAP benefits after income evaluation. Our Peer Navigators report that some veterans don’t meet the income guidelines by just $5.00.

“The pantry was empty — we didn’t know what we were going to have for dinner that night or that weekend. I thank Code of Support for finding me real help when we needed it most. I don’t like to think about where we’d be without them.”

— The Martin Family

Since March, Code of Support added hundreds of local food bank resources to PATRIOTlink, but many more local support resources are still needed.

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE AND COUNSELING

Our Peer Navigators are serving veteran clients facing profound financial strains due to the pandemic and prolonged recovery. Recently, unemployment benefits were reduced, creating further financial pressures for unemployed veterans.

In addition to financial assistance, Code of Support provides certified financial coaching to support veteran families with budgeting, payment deferrals, and managing expenses. This year, requests for financial assistance have exceeded our budget by 500%.

HEALTHCARE AND MENTAL HEALTH

The single most frequent need expressed by our veteran clients is increasing feelings of loneliness and depression. Nearly half of all veterans reported needing additional mental health support in 2020. The Veteran’s Administration states that the pandemic resulted in a 65% increase in virtual mental health appointments and a startling 450% increase in telephone appointments just since April.

Code of Support works directly with veterans to access the their local VA facility, including accessing mental healthcare, but we need more local counseling options in PATRIOTlink.

SUICIDE PREVENTION

Veteran suicide remains a serious issue, compounding during this difficult time. An increase in veteran suicide occurs despite billions of dollars invested by the government and tens of thousands of nonprofit organizations dedicated to supporting the military/veteran community. While all this effort should lead to better outcomes, active duty service members, veterans, caregivers, and their families are adrift in a sea of resources that remain frustratingly out-of-reach.

“After my service and injury, I felt useless, like I had failed. I felt like I didn’t deserve help, even though I couldn’t go on. It got to the point where I considered taking my own life. My wife and I couldn’t find help until we found Code of Support. Our Peer Navigator pushed me to get mental healthcare, and now our whole family has regular local telehealth appointments. To all those who support Code of Support — we, as a family, thank you.”

— The Pierce Family

That is why Code of Support will always be here. The veterans, caregivers, and military families who depend on Code of Support need you now, more than ever before. This season, this year, we ask you to give if you can.

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