ARPA Veterans Affairs Initiatives
Cook County received over $1 billion through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The County’s robust planning process developed a responsible, comprehensive spending plan to use ARPA one-time resources to support immediate recovery from the effects of COVID-19 and long-term transformative initiatives, and to promote equitable recovery for populations that were historically disinvested or disproportionally impacted by COVID-19.
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle announced nearly $5 million in funding to support programs that assist veterans and their families. The Cook County Department of Veterans Affairs (CCVA) has worked diligently to create programs that address the diverse needs of the veteran community to create opportunities for economic recovery and advancement.
CCVA's projects include:
Nonprofit organizations who have existing programs for veterans and their families that address mental health, education and job placement, home and food security in addition to making benefits more accessible are eligible to apply for Honor Grants. CCVA will award $1.5 million in multi-year grants to nonprofit organizations. For more information about Honor Grants, visit: www.cookcountyil.gov/honorgrants
Chicago Cook Technology Academy
Cook County has partnered with Microsoft and National Able Network to form the Chicago Cook Technology Academy, a free 7-week program that provides veterans with critical career skills in the technology industry. Participants are trained in cloud development or cloud administration and upon completion will have the opportunity to interview for a full-time job at Microsoft and many other hiring partners. Click here for more information or to register for an information session.
Veteran-Owned Small Business Grants
Cook County has allocated $1 million of The Source Grow Grant to assist veteran-owned small businesses. This grant funding opportunity prioritizes historically excluded populations and sectors hardest hit by the pandemic. For more information, visit: www.cookcountysmallbiz.org/growgrant
Veterans Service Officer Corp
This program establishes a Veterans Service Officer (VSO) Corps to assist veterans and their families in by answering questions and educating individuals and groups on what benefits and resources are available to them on a federal, state, county and local level. Topics include compensation and pension, healthcare, education and training, employment, burial and survivor benefits, housing and transportation. The VSO will also help veterans complete and file benefit claims and represent individuals in VA hearings.
Veteran Home Repair Program
In partnership with Rebuilding Together Metro Chicago, Veterans Affairs will provide Cook County veterans in need with free home repairs and improvements. Upgrades made as part of this program will ensure veterans remain living safely in their homes. Veteran homeowners or owner-occupied homes where a veteran resides are eligible to apply. For more information, visit: www.cookcountyil.gov/service/veteran-home-repair-program
To receive information and updates as additional programs for veterans are launched, sign up to receive the County's Department of Veterans Affairs newsletter.