“News of this grant was met with great excitement as we are able to intentionally address veterans and their families affected by COVID-19,” said Moore. “The Beck Center for Veterans staff was working on ways to increase or enhance some services and this grant was a welcome addition to help fulfill this need.
“I am enthusiastic about the additional services such as the laptop loan program that highlights and supports the need for access to technology. This grant certainly adds much-needed financial support to the work of the center, veterans and their families.”
The Beck Center is a comprehensive program including onsite and offsite individual therapy, psychoeducation groups, therapy groups, support group services for dependents and caregivers, and service dog training for military veterans attending Arkansas State. Currently, the center is aiding veterans from Craighead, Greene, Cross, Lawrence, Randolph, Mississippi, Clay, Poinsett and White counties. However, veterans from other areas are welcome to participate.
The grant will be used to provide various services to Arkansas veterans who are transitioning into student life at Arkansas State. The funding will assist veterans and their families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and will continue services to those who are isolated due to lack of transportation, social anxiety, mental health diagnosis and other issues associated with the pandemic.
Nash said the grant includes the purchase of household goods and laptops for loan to offsite veterans in Veterans Village, a partnership with the city of Jonesboro and Arkansas State, to provide housing and programs to address veteran homelessness and develop work stations for those who do not have access to a computer or the internet. The use of the laptops enables veterans to access Veterans Adminstration benefits and programs to reorder medications, meet with medical providers and file claims.
A portion of the funds will be used to support owner-based service dog training in the Beck Center Battle Buddies: Paws for Vets Service Dog program. Studies show that the presence of a service dog can increase patience, impulse control, emotional regulation, the ability to display affection, and decrease emotional numbness. It also improves sleep and decreases depression, startle responses, and the need for pain medications.
Also, a basic food bank has been maintained for veterans that are at risk for hunger. Restocking is necessary because of COVID requirements and specific needs of student veterans during summer months.
The Beck Center, in existence since 2007 through the generosity of A-State alumni Buddy and Charlotte Beck of Fairfax Station, Va., who presented the university with a gift of $1 million, underwent a name change in January and became a key component of the new Office of Military and Veteran Student Success program. In late April, the center moved to a new office in the Administration Annex located south of the Neil Griffin College of Business on campus.
Original article source: http://www.astate.edu/news/beck-center-for-veterans-receives-cares-act-grant | Article may or may not reflect the views of KLEK 102.5 FM or The Voice of Arkansas Minority Advocacy Council