The City of Jacksonville and the Jacksonville Jaguars Foundation have partnered to provide financial assistance to organizations serving veterans and active-duty service members transitioning to civilian life.
"Our service members do their duty to serve our country and protect all of us," said Mayor Alvin Brown. "In turn, we have a duty as a community to support their successful transition to civilian life. Veterans are a tremendous asset to Jacksonville. We welcome them and their families to our community, and we want to make sure they have every opportunity to thrive here. That's how we make Jacksonville into the most veteran- and military-friendly city in the country."
As part of a five-year partnership launched during the 2013 Week of Valor last November, the Jacksonville Military Veterans Community Partnership Grants program will focus on services that support the transition to civilian life, provide emergency financial assistance, support local career assistance, provide military spouse and family support, and encourage wraparound social services.
"We are honored to be able to help support and assist members of the military upon their return. We owe them a debt of gratitude for their loyal and selfless service to protect us and our freedoms, and we hope this commitment will benefit many veterans in their pursuit of training, jobs, housing and quality of life with their families," Jaguars owner Shad Khan said.
This year, up to $70,000 is anticipated to be available for distribution to qualified organizations serving veterans. Funds must be used to support services offered to Jacksonville's military and veteran populations. Ongoing operational and personnel costs are ineligible for funding.
"The Coalition is very proud of this innovative public-private partnership, as we believe it is a true reflection of Jacksonville's commitment to supporting military veterans," said Michael Fleming, chairman of the Jacksonville Military Veterans Coalition and managing director at Deutsche Bank.
Individual grant awards will be distributed at the direction of the Jacksonville Military Veterans Community Partnership Grants Committee, and are expected to range from $5,000 to $20,000. The committee will consist of representatives from the City's Military Affairs, Veterans and Disabled Services Department (MAVDS), the Jacksonville Jaguars Foundation, the Jacksonville Military Veterans Coalition and a local leader from the veteran community selected by the director of MAVDS.
Online inquiries will be accepted through March 31. Nonprofit organizations invited to submit full applications will be notified by April 15, with a deadline for submission of May 1. Initial grant awards will be announced in June 2014. Grant applications will be available online on the Jaguar's Foundation's grant-making page.
The Jacksonville Veterans Resource and Reintegration Center (JVRRC) and Jaguars Foundation staff will provide guidance to agencies on the application process.