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North Coast Current

News online for Encinitas, Calif.

North Coast Current

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Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard Vets Achieve Transition Goals with Help from Local Veterans Initiative ‘Zero8hundred’

Navy%2C+Marine+Corps%2C+Coast+Guard+Vets+Achieve+Transition+Goals+with+Help+from+Local+Veterans+Initiative+Zero8hundred

San Diego County CA— In just two years, zero8hundred has helped 1441 transitioning service members and their families mitigate the stress of transitioning out of the military, far surpassing its goals, according to an independent evaluation conducted by the Caster Family Center for Nonprofit and Philanthropic Research at the University of San Diego. The program originally projected to enroll 300 service members and military families for personalized transition support in its first two years.
zero8hundred is a cross-sector community initiative whose mission is to proactively link transitioning service members and their families to resources and opportunities in the community, helping them successfully transition to civilian life. Personal support, interaction and resources are provided in areas essential to self-sufficiency, including Employment and Education, Basic Needs, Mental and Physical Health, and Personal Connections.
“Navy men and women and their families face unique challenges as they transition from the armed services, particularly in adapting to a civilian community and workplace that can be much different from the military. For some, these challenges can seem overwhelming, making assimilation and acclimation more difficult,” said Rear Adm. Yancy B. Lindsey, Commander of Navy Region Southwest. “zero8hundred’s assistance has had a huge positive impact on these individuals with employment, housing and other issues, connecting our sailors with the resources and services they need. They have sacrificed much during their service. I’m thankful zero8hundred is there for them as they move on to the next chapter of their lives.”
According to the Caster Center’s report, finding a job was the top concern of transitioning vets in the program, and with zero8hundred’s help, 68% of those enrolled who were job-hunting found jobs within three months of separating from the military.
City of San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer supports the program, stating:
“Our men and women in uniform sacrifice so much for their country. Fortunately, organizations like zero8hundred help ensure they have access to resources and assistance that can help ease their transition to civilian life,” said Mayor Faulconer. “The services provided by zero8hundred change lives.”
Congressman Scott Peters helped launch the zero8hundred project in 2015.
“The military-veteran presence helps define San Diego’s culture, and zero8hundred is connecting our transitioning service members to the resources they need to secure meaningful jobs that utilize their unique skills,” said Congressman Peters.
zero8hundred Executive Director Sean Mahoney, himself a veteran having retired as a Captain after 27 years in the Coast Guard, said, “20,000 service members leave the military every year in San Diego county alone, and up to a third of them stay here. They are assets to our community in our work force, at our Little League games, and in our neighborhoods. zero8hundred’s goal was to transform the transition experience for service members entering the San Diego community, and the Caster Center’s report shows that our program is achieving that goal and is really helping veterans and their families.”
zero8hundred has a landmark formal agreement with the Navy that allows the program to be presented to active duty service members prior to separation at on-base transition classes. This agreement was the first of its kind in the nation. zero8hundred has a similar formal agreement with the Coast Guard, and the program is also offered at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, and Marine Corps Recruit Depot. With support from the Orange County Community Foundation, the program expanded in early 2017 and now serves transitioning veterans living in Orange County as well.
“The name zero8hundred refers to a new day and a new community approach toward closing the gap between the service members and the many opportunities and agencies that want to help them when they get out of the service,” said Mahoney.
The Caster Center’s full report can be viewed at: http://www.zero8hundred.org/Portals/0/zero8hundred%20Year2%20Report_print_April2017.pdf.

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Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard Vets Achieve Transition Goals with Help from Local Veterans Initiative ‘Zero8hundred’