Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans

Serving Veterans Throughout Minnesota MN HVRP Conference Best Practices VETLAW July 31, 2006

Kara Cornils – VETLAW Program Manager

Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans
• Our mission
– to provide assistance throughout Minnesota to positively motivated veterans and their families who are homeless or experiencing other life crises. We accomplish this mission by providing services directly or in collaboration with other service agencies.

• Serving veterans statewide since 1992
– 100% Veteran Focused

• Each month, on average, we have contacts with approximately 500 veterans statewide

Minnesota Locations
• Minneapolis
• • • VAMC Campus Bldg # 47- 13 beds MACV 9 Houses 26 beds Administration Office in Bldg # 10

• •

YWCA 10 dedicated rooms/beds

Radichel Town Homes
11 units Permanent Housing for Disabled Veterans

Eligibility for MACV Services
• Veteran status verified – DD214 Honorable Discharge • Homeless Veteran • Prevention • Minnesota Resident

What we assess with the Veteran
• Housing Status • Health Status, mental & chemical • Medical Problems • Employment & Income Status • Living Skills • Eye & Dental Care • Legal Issues

Desired Outcomes
• • • • Placement in appropriate housing Increased level of life/living skills Increased level of income Increased level of financial responsibility • Increased level of health
– mental & physical

• Increased level of responsibility and connection to the community • Increased ability to interact in relationships

Veterans Employed Through Legal Advocacy Work
•Program established November 2003 – 367 Veterans Served to date – 553 Case files closed

• Veterans Employed Through Legal Advocacy Work • Addresses legal barriers to employment or housing for homeless veterans • Must be a MACV participant enrolled into one of our programs • No criminal/defense cases, no divorce, no child custody

Civil legal issues addressed by VETLAW
• Child Support
• Determine current obligations & facilitate communication between veteran & Child Support Agency

• Income Taxes
• File back taxes
» Utilize free tax filing services for low income individuals » IRS will print out past year W2 forms

• Eligible for refunds for past 3 tax years • Earned Income Credit • Assist veterans with setting up payment plans to IRS

Civil legal issues addressed by VETLAW
• Criminal History Verification
• Verify accuracy of criminal history • Refer veteran to volunteer attorney for criminal expungement advice/information

• Student Loans
• 1-800-FED-AID : find current service company for student loans • Assist veterans with setting up payment plans • Administrative Garnishment

Civil legal issues addressed by VETLAW
• Credit
• Verify accuracy of credit report www.annualcreditreport.com • Refer veteran to credit counseling agency or volunteer attorneys for legal advice or help in dealing with creditor harassment

• Evictions/Unlawful Detainer
• Refer veteran to volunteer housing attorney

• Addressing legal issues impacts a veteran’s ability to obtain/maintain housing and employment. • Income taxes
– In 2005 VETLAW helped 51 veterans get taxes filed. • Total Refunds Received: $15,977 • Total Owed to IRS: $3355

• Volunteer Lawyers Network • Criminal Justice non-profit organizations • Local Bar Associations • Local Law Schools • Legal Aid • Courthouse Self-Help Centers • Legal websites
– www.lawhelp.org

• MACV Minneapolis Metro 1327 • MACV Duluth • MACV Mankato 8258 612-726-

218-722-8763 507-345-