In early March 2020, as the deadly Covid-19 virus spread unchecked across America, The Joint Service Committee (JSC) suspended office hours at the Fleet Reserve Building in Mountlake Terrace. We contacted our clients and told them that we would re-open only when we can assure their health and safety will not be jeopardized. We may meet, on occasion, at the Shoreline American Legion hall on N. 146th St & 17th Ave NE (right behind the Good Will store).
Nonetheless we have continued to work for our veteran clients by working from home. The JSC is looking forward to the time when the conditions are right to re-open our doors again and can greet you in person. It may be some months before that happens. You can contact Rob Caldwell for further data @ (206) 963-2864.
Suspending office hours did not mean that the JSC suspended our assistance to veterans. Indeed, our work has continued as we work from home. Decisions on claims and appeals continue to roll in from the VA, and clients continue for assistance and information; we continue to file new claim and launch appeals to the Board of Veterans Appeals and the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans.
Our Veterans Housing Project continues to assist homeless, or soon to be homeless, veterans with great success. Sadly, we found it imperative that we shut down the Veteran's Talk, and Veterans Tabletop Games Programs due to social distancing restrictions. We have also suspended our regular Tuesday and Wednesday lunch and social time as well. We miss seeing our friends and hope that we can all be together again soon.
The Joint Service Committee (JSC) is a small group of dedicated veterans that find meaning and purpose by assisting other veterans with their disability claims, healthcare issues and housing problems. The JSC is an all-volunteer, all-veteran group, operating in space generously donated to us by The Fleet Reserve Association Branch 18 in Mountlake Terrace (MLT); and some time at the Shoreline American Legion hall.
They get some financial support from their veteran clients, Blackburn Aurora VFW Post 3348, Tom Nasky Property Mgmt and formerly from Wilcox American Legion Post 234. They could produce even greater results with additional funding as then they could increase the resources needed to provide an expanded array of services to disabled veterans.
Some veterans are frustrated attempting to get assistance from the Veterans Administration (VA) for medical care, housing and just plain help with their service-connected disabilities such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Military Sexual Trauma (MST) and a multitude of physical disabilities. They are often unable and/or unwilling to engage with the byzantine VA "system".
The JSC announced their new "Veterans Talk Circle" program. This program provides a forum where veterans can connect with and learn from each other about their PTSD/MST and other psychological disabilities.
In this forum, veterans can share their struggles transitioning from military service to civilian life while living with the profound effects of the psychological disabilities. The "Veterans Talk Circle" will introduce participating veterans to JSC’s Veteran Advocacy Program where the JSC can assist them to gain access to needed medical care, temporary and permanent housing and financial benefits.
Sarah Andrews has joined our group of volunteer veterans. Sarah is a graduate of Antioch University with a degree in business development. Sarah is our office manager; she maintains our files and appointment calendar and works with our Veteran Advocates assisting our veteran clients. Please feel free to stop by our MLT office any Tuesday or Wednesday and say hello to Sarah.
Bradley Andrews has joined the JSC. Brad is a Vietnam Veteran of the 11th Armored Cavalry. In addition to his powerful writing credentials, he will moderate our "Veterans Talk Circle" and is beginning his apprenticeship as a Veteran Advocate with other members of the JSC. The JSC is honored to have him aboard.
Raymundo Garcia heads up our Veterans Housing Program and is also an apprentice Veteran Advocate learning the ropes of the VA benefits program. We hope that within a brief period time he will take his place as a front-line Veteran Advocate.
Linda Lee and Ester Randle provide an excellent lunch, at our MLT location, each Tuesday and Wednesday from 11am until the food is gone. Anyone interested in learning more about the JSC is welcome to join us.
Starr Sutherland American Legion Post 227 is now an associate sponsor of the JSC. The JSC meets at the Shoreline American Legion Post 227 Hall at 14521 17th Ave NE, Shoreline every other Thursday from 10am until the last veteran who comes has been seen.
The JSC also works out of the Fleet Reserve Association building on Tuesdays and Wednesdays each week (23003 56th Ave W, Mountlake Terrace) which is temporarily suspended due to COVID-19. Their contact phone is Rob Caldwell @ (206) 963-2864.
Our programs support our service members while they are on the front line, as they are being discharged and long after they return. Your tax-deductible donation will be immediately directed to the VFW programs where your support is most urgently needed.