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ABOUT US

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Since the early days of Elkdom, the Veterans Service Commission has patriotically served those Elks who have fought for our great nation.

Who are the Elks?

Founded in 1868, the Elks are a non-political, non-sectarian organization open to any American citizen over the age of 21. We have more than 800,000 members at 1900 locations across the country.

Our Commitment to Veterans

When it comes to serving veterans, the Elks have a long and storied tradition of being there when they were needed most. Since we began, the needs of military members and returning veterans have continued to change, and the Elks have adapted to those needs, remaining an ever-present ally to those who have served this country.

In 1946, the Elks National Veterans Service Commission was formally established, formalizing the Elks' commitment to serving veterans. The ENVSC is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, and operates thanks to a generous grant from the Elks National Foundation.

Our Mission Statement

The Elks National Veterans Service Commission is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Mission Statement: 

To remember, honor and provide fellowship and material assistance to those who have served our nation in the Armed Forces and are experiencing isolation, unique temporary need or housing hardship.

To bring fellowship, social and enrichment opportunities to the residents of NJ State Veterans’ Homes and National Veterans System facilities.  

To assist Veterans graduating from transitional housing with the material means necessary to re-enter the civilian community.   

To provide Veterans in cases of exceptional need with resources to avoid immediate housing displacement where other VA or community services are not immediately available.

To further realize our Motto “as long as there are Veterans the Elks will never forget them” and especially for Veterans experiencing homelessness that “We give them hope” through their adversity.

 

Priority/Planning

  • Budget and securing funding

  • Scope /type of assistance needed

  • Maximum/type/amount of assistance 

  • Geographic area served

  • Physical infrastructure establishing location need and logistical necessity

 

Processing requests

  • Application for Veteran request

  • Gathering documentation from the Veteran and or case manager

  • Privacy concerns

  • Accounting/payments

  • Tracking outcome referring to other agencies

  • Reporting to Committee and Trustees

Types Of Requests

  • Emergency Housing:   We will provide temporary shelter for a period up to 5 days unless decided to extend this period by Committee vote in a qualified hotel. Transportation to this hotel will be considered in a case-by-case consideration.

  • Rent/Mortgage arears for homeless prevention

  • Utilities arears (water, heat, and electric)

  • Home accessibility within reason

  • Permanent Housing- Security deposits, first month’s rent 

  • Basic needs, clothes, food insecurity

  • Arears in items of necessity such as car payments to attend work or make doctor appointments

Determining Eligibility

  • Veteran status – Veteran needs to have served for a period of

    • 1 year minimum unless situation warrants review

    • Maintain an Honorable discharge Not {Under Honorable condition}

    • Must have been active duty or preformed active service

    • Must show financial need and ability to be self-supportive after help

    • Should be referred by a case manager but not always applicable

    • Must provide all required paperwork to include but not limited to, DD-214, DD215, DD256, any required financial information, medical discharge status and if they are receiving a military benefit

    • If requesting rehousing, homelessness must be established under the federal guidelines

  • Living on the Street

  • In a temporary living situation

  • In a rehabilitative institution and soon to be release

  • In a Shelter

  • In a VA or State hospital or care facility and being released with nowhere to house afterward

 

Application/Interview 

  • Basic Information required

    • Full name, Age, birth date, SS#, current address if any, valid ID, and Veteran Status / DD 214

    • Household status: Other household members, transportation access, Rent or owned.

    • Income: Wages or paychecks, Welfare/Social Security/aid or disability income, pensions or any other income

    • Ability to maintain status once help is given

    • Crisis evaluation assessment questions; Chronic homelessness and reason if yes, Health issues/disability

    • Deadline to homelessness or help to avoid job loss etc...   

    • Background: How did this need arise

    • How will this request help you

    • Ask for all required documentation to establish need 

    • Does this person show eligibility for the NJ Energy Assistance Program (USF/LIHEAP)

    • FFY 2022 income eligibility schedule for informational purposes listed below:

    •  

    • Monthly Gross Income limits

      • 10-01-21 to   09-30-2022

    •  

    • Household size          LIHEAP                  USF                  NJ Elks

    • - 1                                $3,348                  $4,293              $3,758

    • - 2                                $4,379                  $5,807              $3,833

    • - 3                                $5,409                  $7,320              $4,200

    • - 4  up add for each   add 1,000             add 1,513         Max is $55,000

Decisions

  • The request for help will be approved by a committee vote unless it is a standard request from a Case Manager requesting a (kit). This unless out of the ordinary will be approved or denied by the Chairman due to the high volume of requests.

 

  • Voting Members consist of 12 District chairman, 5 VAVS Representatives, 2 region chairman and the State Chairman only as a tie breaker

Physical Property  

  • As of 12-1-22 The NJ State Elks NVSC Non-profit owns

  • 1 leased building known as the “Annex” located in Stirling NJ lease is for 50 years with a 25-year extension at the end of 50 at the discretion of the township

  • 1 Storage container located on the property of Old Bridge lodge

  • 1 Storage container located on the property of Brick Lodge

  • 1 Storage container located on the property of Galloway Lodge being relocated to Brick due to increased need by July 15th 2023.

  • 2 rented storage units in the town of Marlton

Payment 

No Veteran will be given cash. All payments rendered will be issued to the company its billed from. The only time any items of monetary value may be given to the Veteran is in the form of a gift card for food when food cannot be purchased.    

 

Vision: In striving to achieve this mission, in a responsible manner with entrusted funds, and treating each Veteran with due respect, the NVSC will utilize its membership, financial and physical resources thus:

 

Each year the leadership of the Committee, through their elected executive officers and designated district area chairs will develop a budget and accompanying fundraising program.  In past years annual fundraising has been at the $300,000., level, and with consistent stewardship been able to return $270,000., to the Veterans community.  Services delivered had the value of $310,000., including rent/mortgage assistance at $20,000., security deposits at $5000., utility assistance at $3000.00 etc. To address [Add some facts demonstrating increasing need for services from media, government, etc.] we seek your financial support.

 

The request for these funds can originate either from local lodges personal knowledge of the individual veterans' circumstances, referral from another

Veterans’ group or in conjunction with other State, County or Federal agencies.

 

Subject to additional details, including appropriate governmental and financial responsibility guidelines, qualifying applicants include those currently resident in NJ Veterans facilities and those honorably discharged military personnel who are homeless or at risk of homelessness once separated from the service or resident facilities.

 

Certain routine requests may only require the approval of the Committee Chair; e.g., furniture requested by VA for discharged veterans moving to apartment quarters; more specific higher dollar requests, once documentary proof of need is provided, must be approved by vote of the entire committee after review and recommendation of the Chair.  Other safeguards to ensure proper utilization of received funds include the clear preference for payments made directly to service providers or landlords, with only incidental small food/fuel gift cards directly made to recipients.

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