March 16, 2021

Crapo, Bennet Reintroduce Bipartisan Legislation to Streamline Access to Resources for Veterans

“Network Hubs” Would Centralize Resources for Veterans

Washington, D.C.--U.S. Senators Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Michael Bennet (D-Colorado) have reintroduced the Helping Unleash Benefits and Services (HUBS) for Veterans Act, bipartisan legislation to support local “network hubs,” which streamline access to essential resources for veterans, servicemembers and their families.  

“Navigating a number of streams of information to gain access to the resources they need can be a daunting and time-consuming task for many servicemembers transitioning from the military to civilian world,” said Crapo.  “Many community-based organizations in Idaho have already stepped up to provide crucial long-term, holistic support and assistance.  Prioritizing network hubs to help provide these servicemembers more wraparound services from one entry point would reduce the burden on veterans to navigate each path individually.” 

“Colorado has a wide range of resources available for servicemembers, veterans, and their families.  However, these essential services and resources are often spread across agencies and organizations, forcing veterans to navigate a confusing bureaucracy to access the benefits they earned,” said Bennet. “Already, communities in Colorado are recognizing the benefit of centralizing resources into a network hub that can best help individuals find support.  The HUBS for Veterans Act bill would elevate this idea and increase access to resources for more veterans, meeting them where they are.” 

“The mission of the Idaho Veterans Chamber of Commerce is to bridge the gap through our strong partnerships within the civilian and military community by delivery of wraparound navigation services to connect our military and civilian community to the right resources, the first time, every time,” said Idaho Veterans Chamber of Commerce Founding Executive Director Mindi Anderson.  “This model has proven to work as we have seen in the Joining Forces Treasure Valley group, which has executed this model for the last 10 years as a group of civilian and military partners that come together of their own free will and time to support the needs of the military community.   Senators Crapo and Bennet’s bill would support what we already know in Idaho, and that is, we must create the collaboration space to bring our military and civilian communities together to serve our veterans, military serving, and their family members holistically, and further build unity in the state of Idaho.”  

The HUBS for Veterans Act would authorize a five-year pilot program to provide matching grant funds to non-profit organizations that offer access to multiple, wraparound services from one source, or “network hubs.”  The bill directs the Department of Labor (DOL), in consultation with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), to prioritize network hubs that provide job recruitment training, educational support services, financial services, entrepreneurship training, behavioral health services and assistance in accessing benefits administered by the VA. 

The bill would also ensure that servicemembers receive information through the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) about network hubs located in the community in which they will reside once they become a civilian.  TAP is an interagency collaboration between the Department of Defense, DOL and VA that provides information to servicemembers and their families to help them transition from military service to civilian life. 

Crapo and Bennet first introduced the HUBS for Veterans Act in 2018.  

The bill text is available HERE 

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