About VetsNet

VetsNet, founded and run by veterans to serve veterans, service members and their families, is a nonprofit social service agency headquartered in West Allis and serving southeastern Wisconsin. We link those we serve with the agencies who can best meet their needs and solve their problems, and do follow-up to make certain there are successful outcomes.

VetsNet began in early 2016 as a project of the Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Initiative, but in March 2017 was incorporated as an independent nonprofit organization. It is registered with the State of Wisconsin as a charitable organization and has applied to the Internal Revenue Service for recognition as a tax exempt charity. Contributions are tax deductible.

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VetsNet staff, from left: Noah Cole, navigator; Kiana Sanchez, business manager,Norma Mack,reception; Quentin Hatfield, executive director; Amy Thompson, navigator

Why we do it:

In serving homeless and at-risk veterans since 2008, the Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Initiative (MHVI) identified serious gaps in the veteran safety net, and launched VetsNet as a result. Many veterans and family members in need find it nearly impossible to navigate the myriad of agencies that provide services, and find that regulations and restrictions often prevent them from qualifying for some programs. VetsNet is unique in that it provides open access to all veterans and military families who seek assistance, many of whom do not qualify for federal veteran benefits or programs.

The Veterans Administration is the main provider of veterans services, and our local VA gets good marks and reviews, but there are still many barriers to receiving help, including the definition of “veterans.” VetsNet will serve any veteran, with as little red tape and bureaucracy as possible, and eliminate any Catch-22s. For many veterans, we are the last resort.

Who we serve

We will help any man or woman in crisis who served in the military. Anyone who took the oath and wore the uniform -- Active Duty, Reserves or National Guard. Overseas or stateside. War or peacetime. Front lines or in the rear. Regardless of discharge. They are all veterans, every one. We are here for them and their families. In our first year of operation, we served 407 veterans and family members.

Where we operate

Based in Milwaukee County, we also serve Waukesha, Racine, Washington, Ozaukee, and Sheboygan Counties, and other areas upon request.

What we do 

VetsNet facilitates and coordinates services in these broad areas, all of which are at the top of the list for veterans and their families: Emergency relief, homelessness, benefits counseling, financial counseling, substance abuse, mental health, legal assistance,relationship (personal & family counseling), employment counseling, training and placement, and more

How we do it

Veterans and families experience a modern, comfortable, relaxed environment, conducive to building trust and reducing stress. Drop in and scheduled appointments are available, and immediate referrals are made to an array of participating providers. We use a collaborative, holistic approach. We are located five minutes from the VA hospital and one block from the Milwaukee County Veterans Service Office, making collaboration and referrals easy. We offer shared space to other agencies, and our VetsNet staff helps connect vets and families with the help they need.

With our 30+ collaborating agencies: (1) A shared commitment to improving service delivery, (2) Working together to meet the need. (3) Selfless organizational support by all provider participants. (4) Program development through collaboration of providers and consumer advocates, (5)Evidence-based evaluation and decision making, refining the system