Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency Partners with Michigan 211 to Centralize Veteran Resources



Above:  MVAA Director Jeff Barnes recently announced the launch of the Michigan Veteran Resource Service Center. (L-R): Nate Cross, Trayse Fowler, Gov. Rick Snyder, MVAA Director Jeff Barnes, Michigan Association of United Ways President/CEO Scott Dzurka, Jason Wentworth, Randy Calloway and Lisa Castro.

Photo courtesy of MVAA
Toll free number gives veterans around-the-clock assistance
LANSING, MI – Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (MVAA) Director Jeff Barnes was joined by Gov. Rick Snyder today to formally launch the Michigan Veteran Resource Service Center (MVRSC), a collaborative partnership between the agency and the Michigan 211 system. The resource service center provides Michigan veterans and their families access to federal benefit programs, state services and local resources 24/7 with MVAA staff available Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. and MI-211 agents with training on veteran programs answering calls after hours and during the weekend. Services provided by MVRSC can be accessed by calling the toll free number, 1-800-MICH-VET or 1-800-642-4838.
“Since its inception, MVAA has been working to provide veterans one-stop access to benefits and programs they’ve earned,” said Barnes. “The MVRSC is the realization of Gov. Snyder’s directive to our agency to serve as the central coordinating point for all veteran services and provide veterans no-wrong-door access to veteran resources.” He added that the veteran resource service center complements the agency’s web portal, MichiganVeterans.com, which allows veterans, their families and interested stakeholders a way to explore federal benefits and state programs.
“Good government is all about using partnerships and innovation so that we can deliver real results for real people,” Snyder said. “It’s especially gratifying when we can find better ways to ensure that our veterans have the access to the services and benefits they have earned. The new Michigan Veteran Resource Service Center is a great example of collaboration that provides a cutting-edge way to serve Michigan’s veterans.”
In addition to MVAA and Michigan 211, the MVRSC received grant funding from the Michigan Department of Human Services for start-up costs. The launch of this program marks the first time any state has fully integrated with the 211 system to deliver information and referrals to veteran specific programs as well as connections to wraparound services available to all citizens.
“The resource center uses the same phone and database technology as 211,” said Scott Dzurka, president and CEO of the Michigan Association of United Ways, which funds 211 programs across the state. “We handle calls to the center outside regular business hours, ensuring there is a live person available to provide support to veteran callers every minute, every day.”
MVAA serves as the central coordinating point, connecting those who have served in the U.S. Armed Services and their families, to services and benefits throughout the state of Michigan. The agency values inclusion, integrity, transparency, innovation and respect and aspires to provide the customer service experience that veterans deserve. For more information, visit MichiganVeterans.com or call 1-800-MICH-VET (1-800-642-4838.)
This article was printed in the October 5, 2014 – October 18, 2014 edition.