Our Power in Partnership series highlights our national and regional partners and the work they do to build healthier communities.
Tell us more about your organization.
The Rhode Island Office of Veterans Services (RIVETS) acts as the chief advocate in the State of Rhode Island for Veterans and military families. RIVETS works day in and day out to ensure Veterans are receiving the full measure of all benefits for which they are eligible – benefits that they’ve earned and deserve. We offer programs and services at three key locations: the Veteran Resource Center in Warwick, the Veterans Home in Bristol, and the Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Exeter.
What are the greatest needs of the individuals and families you serve?
As with many human service providers, families often come to us during challenging times in their lives. With that said, the greatest demand we see at our Veteran Resource Center is assistance with benefits navigation, followed closely by transportation.
What are the main programs or offerings that your organization provides?
While the Veterans Home and the Cemetery are large operations under our oversight, the Veterans Resource Center and the services we deliver there have really grown over the last few years. We have two VA-accredited Veterans Service Officers on staff providing individual in-person counseling and support to Veterans, active duty, guard, reserve, and military families. Just over the last few years, we saw the number of unique individuals served go from 294 in 2021 to 894 in 2022. From January 1 through September 30, 2023, we’ve assisted 1,593 unique clients.
How has working with Unite Us impacted the work that you do?
The insights the Unite Us system provides, including data tracking and analysis, have allowed us to implement new programs and services that are responsive to the needs of the Veterans and families we serve. The data was telling us that transportation was a huge unmet need. Many injured, ill, and disabled Veterans were identifying access to reliable transportation, including services to get them to and from VA health care appointments, as critical and important to reintegration efforts. In response to this, RIVETS launched our VetPass program to assist eligible Veterans.
“Unite Us has allowed us to serve more and more Veterans and military families due to the power of the network and the data we are able to extract from the system. Data helps to drive our priorities – the services and investments needed to care for Rhode Island’s Veterans and their families. Unite Us is a powerful tool that ensures every Veteran receives the services they’ve earned and deserve.” – Kasim Yarn, Director of Veterans Affairs for the State of Rhode Island
How does collaborating with other community-based organizations play a role in your work?
Our mantra is that we are committed to meeting Veterans and their families where they live, work, learn, age, and play. We continue to expand our network of partners and increase our engagement in the community – we’re at community resource fairs, partnering with the United Way 2-1-1 bus, attending pre-deployment events and transition assistance programs. Collaboration with community-based organizations is essential to our success and the Unite Us Platform has enabled us to do this work much more efficiently and effectively. We could not support our Veterans without the support we receive from our municipal, state, federal and community partners.
What’s next for RIVETS and Unite Us?
We look forward to adding more Veteran-serving organizations to the network and closely partner with Unite Us when onboarding a new organization. We know that speedy, accurate, and secure sharing of information only helps us to get Veterans the assistance they need – and that they deserve for defending our freedoms. We look forward to continued partnership resulting in constantly improving services for our nation’s heroes.
Interested in learning more about how to bring Unite Us to your organization?
About Unite Us
Unite Us is the nation’s leading software company bringing sectors together to improve the health and well-being of communities. We drive the collaboration to identify, deliver, and pay for services that impact whole-person health. Through Unite Us’ national network and software, community-based organizations, government agencies, and healthcare organizations are all connected to better collaborate to meet the needs of the individuals in their communities.