Veterans Initiative

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The Impact Center, working closely with the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs (IDVA) and the Illinois Department of Military Affairs (IDMA), designed and launched Illinois Joining Forces (IJF).  Thanks to the support of the McCormick Foundation, Tawani Foundation, Illinois Veterans Cash Lottery Fund and the Union League Club of Chicago, the Impact Center conducted landscape assessment, developed organizational framework and programming, managed the development of a collaborative online platform, and produced the launch summit.

The goal of Illinois Joining Forces (IJF) is to solve the critical challenge that veterans, military and their families face in attempting to access the vast resources available to them – resources that too often are buried in the byzantine matrix of hundreds of separate organizations across the state of Illinois.    By increasing awareness and connectivity among its member organizations, IJF is improving the resource delivery system provided by veteran and military related organizations and solving the problem of navigability in the system of support for veterans, military and their families. 

In addition to a robust online platform, IJF is comprised of member-driven working groups to meet the needs of veterans, military and their families in the following areas:


• Homelessness and Housing

• Education

• Employment and Job Training

• Behavioral Health

• Disability Benefits

• Access to Medical Care

• Financial Literacy

• Children and Families

• Emergency Assistance

• Legal Support

Following a successful launch in 2012, IJF is now working with 100+ member organizations across Illinois to strengthen an integrated in-person and online network so that they can more effectively serve veterans and military members.