Portage County leaders are working with officials from the Stevens Point Police & Fire Commission and the Stevens Point Police Department to create a county- wide veteran resource center- and they need help.
Portage County Veteran Services Officer Mike Clements said the county already offers many services to veterans, along with local veteran groups like the VFW and American Legion.
But Clements, along with SPPD Chief Kevin Ruder and Veteran Liaison Officer Mike Bink, as well as others in the community, say they’re looking to create what’s being billed as a “one stop shop” to house all resources needed for military veterans and their families.
Clements said everything from social gatherings and family support to medical referrals and counseling could be a part of the proposed resource center, but first the committee needs input from local veterans and their families.
“The center could take place in the form of a simple Internet chat room, it could wind up being just an office inside the courthouse, or it could wind up eventually being in a separate building,” Clements said. “We just don’t know yet. We’re very early in this process, but we need as many people as possible to give us their thoughts.”
Leaders of the project have put together a survey to help determine how to best help veterans, along with the needs of their families and friends.
All surveys are anonymous and can be completed online or via hard copy at the Portage County Library. Surveys are due January 31, 2014.
Clements said the surveys are vital to the project because it will help local police, sheriff and other outreach officials understand what kind of help veterans and family members truly need.
“Sometimes the service member or veteran may not come forward to ask for help,” said SPPD Chief Kevin Ruder. “It’s a matter of pride for a lot of them, or maybe they themselves don’t see they have issues that can actually be addressed and managed. Often times, it’s a spouse or other close family member or friend who sees from the outside what kind of help the service member or veteran needs.”
The survey can be taken here, or paper copies can be filled out at the Portage County Library, 1001 Main Street. Completed surveys can also be mailed to: Portage County RSVP, 1519 Water Street, Stevens Point 54481.
For assistance or further information contact Michael Clements, Portage County Veterans Service Officer at 715-346-1311 or [email protected].