James Hendon, Commissioner of NYC Veterans' Services, quote with person in NYC Veterans jacket

Prior to 2016, New York City's veterans were served by the Mayor's Office of Veterans Affairs, or MOVA. Recognizing the need to better serve New York City's more than 210,000 service members, veterans, and their families, Mayor Bill de Blasio created the first and only City agency in the nation dedicated to serving veterans and their families: the Department of Veterans’ Services (DVS).

Established in April 2016, DVS works to match all NYC service members, veterans, and their families with the full range of programs and services, regardless of type, length, area of service, or discharge status.

The agency’s mission is straightforward – to foster purpose-driven lives for this important community through:

  • effective connections in the NYC community;
  • targeted advocacy at a local, state, and national level;
  • compassionate service, ensuring we make it easier to access services and benefits they’ve earned.

In the first three years, DVS has led a citywide effort to house over 4,600 homeless veterans; helped those with PTSD find competitive, suitable employment through the Vets CARE program; and created a groundbreaking mental health training program. It has also partnered with the Administration and other partners to:

  • Deliver on the Mayor's bold pledge to end chronic veteran homelessness by reducing overall veteran homelessness by over 70% since taking office;
  • Make employment opportunities for veterans and their families a top priority, placing over 2,500 veterans and their spouses in jobs through the City's Small Busines Services Workforce1 centers;
  • Launch a veteran designator as part of the City's IDNYC program, facilitating access to veteran-specific services and benefits for veteran New Yorkers; and
  • Expand the Veterans Advisory Board, appointing new members to serve three-year terms.

As the agency further grow and scale, it will continue to execute strategies that yield the robust program development, direct services, research, policy and advocacy work necessary to support the needs of a community whose strength and demonstrated commitment to public service will help New York City thrive.