A Letter from Combined Arms' CEO
What began in 2015 as an idea among a group of veterans around a Houston table has now improved quality of life for over 60,000 veterans and service-connected individuals in Texas and across the nation. With your support, we’ve streamlined the connection between active service members, veterans, their families, special immigrant visas (SIVs) and the organizations that assist them, growing to a network of 240 Member Organizations that provide 1,000+ social services and resources. Our technology is live and powering Texas, South Carolina, Louisiana, and select counties in Florida - making the entire network of support organizations over 300 strong!
From providing one-on-one resource navigation support at our Houston Transition Center for individuals like Myson Foster, to distributing critically-needed food and pantry staples to almost 8,000 food insecure veterans and military families at monthly veteran mobile food pantries across Texas, to our 13th annual Operation Santa which brought 414 Families & 1,173 children a little extra holiday cheer, Combined Arms meets those that we serve where they are by leveraging our technology, dedicated team members, and partner communities to ensure they can easily find and access best-in-class social services and resources to solve their immediate, ongoing, and future needs.
Combined Arms has a bright future, and an aggressive vision for how we can fundamentally transform the way veterans and military families are served. To help guide us on this journey, we were honored to have Doug Foshee unanimously elected to serve as Combined Arms' new Chair of the Board. Doug has over four decades of corporate and philanthropic leadership and is a tremendous asset to the organization.
Thank you for the generous support from individuals, corporations, foundations, and more that fuel our mission. We cannot do this work without you!
Combined Arms CEO
2022 IMPACT REPORT OVERVIEW
growing our Technology & partnerships in texas, south Carolina, Louisiana & Alabama.
In 2022 the Combined Arms technology & methodology of serving veterans through accountable partnerships expanded through a statewide partnership in South Carolina with the South Carolina Department of Veterans Affairs. We also formed two new partnerships in Louisiana & Alabama the latter of which will go live in 2023.
Combined Arms continues to operate in our home state of Texas through the Texas Veterans Network in partnership with the Texas Workforce Commission, Texas Veterans Commission and United Way of Tarrant County's Mission United program.
Regardless of geography, Combined Arms supports requests coming from veterans and family members across the nation. Collectively, our combined partner network is over 300 organizations providing more than 1500 unique resources nationwide.
VETERAN WELLNESS ALLIANCE results in nationwide coverage
Combined Arms is the backend partner for the George W. Bush Institute's Veteran Wellness Alliance. Offering mental health coverage in 50 states across the nation, the Veteran Wellness Alliance is an innovative alliance that connects high-quality care providers and veteran peer networks to empower veterans to seek mental health treatment. With proper care, service members and veterans can continue to thrive on and off the battlefield through Check-In.
In collaboration with the Wounded Warrior Project and Syracuse University's Institute for Veterans and Military Families, Check-In fills this gap.
Making veterans' lives easier through paperless DD-214s. Combined Arms partnered with Lighthouse API and the VA to create a safe, accessible, and efficient way for veterans to verify their service, service history, and/or disability status in just seconds. The use of Lighthouse API enables veterans to provide consent to share their information with the service provider/s of their choosing and gives them the control to delete all of their synced data with the click of a button. The integration eliminates the need for paper DD-214s and greatly reduces the risk of confidential data leaks for service providers. This is a game-changer for all veterans looking to connect with resources, especially homeless and at-risk veterans with time-sensitive needs. To find out more, read our comprehensive blog post here.
Secure Data Warehouse
The CAX platform tracks all data on our technology platform, through our Data Warehouse, and displays through our Business Intelligence Platform for advanced analytics. This allows us to see unique, unduplicated clients, number of participating service providers, number of referrals, types of service requests, response times by Member Organizations, client outcome surveys, Member Organization outcome surveys, Member Organization performance dashboards, and types of clients that request services (demographics, discharge type, income level, etc.). To explore our data dashboards further, click here.
DOING IT BETTER STATEWIDE: Over 38,000 SERVED
CAX was awarded support from the Texas Workforce Commission to build a network that would make Texas the first interconnected state for veterans and their families. Launched in April 2020, Combined Arms has grown the Texas Veterans Network (TVN) to include more than 240 best-in-class, vetted veteran-serving organizations, and state agencies that collectively offer more than 1,100 resources for transitioning service members, veterans, and their families. In just 34 months, we connected 38,500+ unique veterans to 65,400+ resources.
*2023 Update - CAX was recently awarded phase II of the TVN, and beginning in April 2023 we will serve all 254 Texas counties, expanding our presence statewide and into Military City, USA and the surrounding counties.
Mobile food pantries
Food insecurity disproportionately impacts veterans and military families: a 2021 U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service report found working-age veterans are 7.4% more likely to face food insecurity than non-veteran peers. For veterans earning low incomes, the rate doubles to 22.5% (Pooler et. al., 2021). In early 2022, we observed a 442% increase in the number of veterans and military-connected individuals seeking food assistance. In response, we partnered with the Galveston County Food Bank to host a Veteran Mobile Food pantry for veterans and their families in that area. Due to the success of the Galveston event, we have since expanded the program into other areas including Montgomery County and on-base at Ellington Field. We now host three Veteran Mobile Food Pantries each month and have served over 12,000 individuals.
Underserved Veteran Populations
Since 2021, CAX has maintained the Striving Toward Equity in the Provision of Social Services (STEP) initiative, which focuses on reaching Texas’s Black and Hispanic/Latino population. As members of historically underserved communities, veterans of color have unique needs; in Texas, where our veteran population has a lower share of people of color than the civilian population, meeting these needs requires intentional, targeted outreach. Veterans of color are almost twice as likely to live in poverty, 44% more likely to be unemployed, and twice as likely to report “fair” or “poor” physical and mental health than their white peers (Minority Veterans of America, 2021). As a result of these efforts, we observed a 433% YoY increase in the number of veterans who self-identify as black, and a 408% YoY increase in the number of veterans who self-identify as Hispanic in 2022 v 2021.
SIVs & ALLIES PROGRAM
Founded in 2019 and volunteer-led until late 2021, our SIVs & Allies Program engages veterans, Special Immigrant Visa recipients (SIVs,) and other volunteers to work closely with local resettlement agencies to fill resource gaps and provide resource navigation support for recently-arrived SIV holders and other wartime allies. In late 2021, we were able to bring on Khalil Arab, an SIV holder himself and longtime CAX volunteer, as our full-time SIV & Allies Program Manager. With Arab onboard and a growing network of volunteers, we assisted over 3,000 SIVs in 2022 and were able to initiate programming in the Central Texas area. For a reflection on our service to the SIVs & Allies on the 1st anniversary of the Afghan evacuation, read our blog post here.
2022 PLAYBACK REEL - THE YEAR IN VIDEOS
2022 HIGHLIGHTS - THE YEAR IN PHOTOS
THANK YOU TO OUR WONDERFUL SPONSORS
BP America Inc
Cameron - Schlumberger
JP Morgan Chase
Texas Dow Employee Credit Union