One-stop service and veterans center opens in Norwich

NORWICH, Connecticut (WTNH) – The Veterans Rally Point has opened in Norwich. It is a one-stop-shop for veterans services.

They have everything from employment support, behavioral health, peer services. There is also a huge fitness room and a maker area. Services are available free of charge to veterans and active duty military members for their families.

“Yellow is a little harder and green is the hardest,” said retired Brigadier-General Ron Welch who showed News8 the rock face of the fitness center of the brand new alumni gathering point. fighters. It is an activity that allows veterans to challenge their minds and bodies.

“One-stop center of excellence,” said Welch, vice president of military services and economic development for Veterans Rally Point.

In 2018, the state gave Easter Seals a $ 2.5 million grant to build a veterans service center.

“Whether you’re a veteran or a military family, we want you to know you’re one step away from getting everything you need when you find us,” said Robin Sharp, Pres. & CEO of the Easter Seals Capital Region / Eastern CT region.

You can find this 18,000 square foot facility on Stott Avenue in Norwich.

“The holiday season, Christmas arrived early yesterday,” Welch said.

Lowe’s donated several tools to the maker space woodworking and pottery workshop.

“It will be a game changer for a lot of veterans and family members who have come here and again with a creative spirit engaging their minds and their hands to create a project,” Welch said.

There is also a large fitness center and several services to help veterans find employment and get help with behavioral health. They can connect virtually with clinicians in a private room.

“If we notice that someone is having a little trouble or if they come to us and ask for help, we can contact this company called Forge VFR and VFR is a veteran of the first responders,” Welch said.

A Veterans Café and other activities help veterans of different generations and conflicts connect with each other.

“What this has done is allow our Vietnam veterans to open up and start talking about some things they went through a long time ago,” said (Fmr) CPT Lori Marriott, Director main military and family programs at the veterans assembly point. .

“One person can help another person, can help another person, and that just gets bigger and we can all help each other,” said veteran Jim Reed. “It’s perfect for that.”

There is also a clothes closet if a veteran needs something to wear for a job interview or just to warm up and in the next room there is a pantry.

Services are all free and open to veterans, active duty military personnel and their families.

“Our message is that no one is alone,” Welch said.

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