New York City Department of Veterans’ Services Announces New Public-Private Partnership to Support Employment for Veterans With Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

The City’s first Pay for Success employment project leverages private and not-for-profit sectors to improve work outcomes for under- or unemployed veterans

New York – The New York City Department of Veterans’ Services announced today the Veterans Coordinated Approach to Recovery and Employment (Veterans CARE) project in collaboration with the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Social Finance, and a consortium of investors consisting of BNP Paribas, Northern Trust, Deutsche Bank, Dakota Foundation, and Robin Hood Foundation. The Pay for Success project aims to improve employment outcomes for NYC veterans with service-connected post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“The Veterans CARE initiative represents a promising national model for care for veterans with PTSD,” said Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie. “The VA remains committed to improving care for all veterans through innovation and collaboration with dedicated outside partners, both in New York City and across the country.”

“At the Department of Veterans’ Services, we meet New York City veterans every day with the discipline, character, and integrity that any employer would benefit from,” said Commissioner Loree Sutton, MD, Brigadier General (ret., US Army). “With Veterans CARE, we’re ensuring that these veterans are trained in the skills they need to be competitive in today’s fast-changing job market. We look forward to working with all our partners in this innovative program.” 

Pay for Success is a public finance model that harnesses the power of the capital markets to address critical social and environmental challenges and improve the lives of those in need. Westat, a Maryland-based research corporation, will independently evaluate the success of the project, based on participants’ sustained employment, earnings, job satisfaction, as well as on fidelity to the IPS model.  VA and DVS will repay the project’s investors to the extent that the project is successful in delivering these outcomes

The Veterans CARE project will serve 480 veterans in NYC and Massachusetts over three years with a rigorously-tested, evidence-based solution called Individual Placement and Support (IPS). The VA New York Harbor Healthcare System, through its Brooklyn and Manhattan VA Medical Centers, will provide rapid job search, personalized coaching, and individualized support to help 120 veterans attain and sustain competitive employment.

With Veterans CARE, we are strengthening the link between funding and performance, to improve outcomes for veterans and help them lead happier, healthier lives,” said Tracy Palandjian, CEO and Co-Founder of Social Finance. “Pay for Success continues New York City’s commitment to expanding evidence-based services for veterans.

‘Our partnership with DVS is critical to the work we do in serving veterans and their families and programs such as Veterans CARE help address the social and economic challenges impacting New York City veterans. This work reflects cutting-edge approaches that offer real value to those who serve. At the top of the list of challenges confronting returning veterans is their ability to secure meaningful employment and Veterans CARE helps New York veterans struggling with the wounds of war and trauma make inroads into securing gainful employment. We’re proud to partner with the DVS team and the VA on this very important initiative,’ said Jim McDonough, Managing Director, Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University.

“We are proud to serve as the evaluation team for Veterans CARE, providing quality assurance for project implementation and outcomes data collection,” said Gary Bond, Senior Research Associate at Westat. “Our researchers have found strong and consistent positive outcomes for IPS across many different populations, including veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. The exciting thing about this project in particular is that, if it is successful, it could promote the expansion of a program that will benefit many veterans.”

VA employment specialists and clinicians will work in tandem to match veterans under the age of 62 with jobs suited to their skills, goals, and disability needs. This tailored, individualized support provides career mentorship and placement in addition to integrated mental health care.  Tuscaloosa Research and Education Advancement Corporation (TREAC), a non-profit corporation that has conducted research on the efficacy of IPS for veterans with PTSD for the past decade, will oversee implementation.

Unemployed and underemployed veterans with PTSD who are interested in learning more about the project should reach out to New York City IPS Coordinator, Yelena Linchevskaya at 718-836-6600 ext. 6588 or at yelena.linchevskaya@va.gov.

About the New York City Department of Veterans’ Services
The New York City’s Department of Veterans’ Services (DVS) strives to improve the lives of all veterans and their families, regardless of discharge status. DVS operates as a centralized hub able to put veterans at the center of all our efforts, coordinating services with a range of agencies at the City, state, and federal level, as well as through public-private partnerships. Our mission is straightforward: to foster purpose-driven lives for NYC service members, veterans, and their families through effective connections with the NYC community; targeted advocacy at the local, state, and national level; compassionate service, ensuring we make it easier to access services and benefits they’ve earned. We believe veterans are civic assets whose strength and demonstrated commitment to public service help NYC thrive. For more information on the New York City Department of Veterans’ Services, please visit our website at www.nyc.gov/vets, visit us at 1 Centre Street, Suite 2208, New York, NY, call 212-416-5250, or follow us on social media @nycveterans.

About Social Finance
Social Finance is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to mobilizing capital to drive social progress. We believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to thrive, and that social impact financing can play a catalytic role in creating these opportunities. We design and manage public-private partnerships that tackle complex social challenges, such as achievement gaps, health disparities, and prisoner recidivism. Core to our work is the development of Pay for Success financing, an innovative funding model that helps to measurably improve the lives of people in need by driving government resources toward better, more effective programs.