JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The ribbon for the new city of Jacksonville and Jaguars Veterans Resource and Reintegration Center was cut Friday at City Hall by Mayor Alvin Brown, Jaguars owner Shad Khan, Deutsche Bank Managing Director Michael Fleming and City Military Affairs, Veterans and Disabled Services Director Vic Guillory.
The center is part of a five-year, $1 million partnership between the city and the Jaguars Foundation that will enhance and expand services for Jacksonville area military and veterans.
"I'm proud of this partnership, highlighting the city and Jaguars' commitment to the dedicated men and women who serve, or have served, in the United States military," said Mayor Alvin Brown. "By working together, we are able to enhance and expand the services available to our military and veterans, showing our community's gratitude and support in strong and meaningful ways."
The new center will be housed and managed by the city's Military Affairs, Veterans and Disabled Services Department and will expand the core services already available. City Council appropriated $100,000 in grant funds from the Jaguars Foundation for revamping the offices and to provide social services, housing assistance, career-related services and emergency financial assistance to veterans and transitioning military personnel. The ordinance also created a new position of social services specialist to help provide these new services.
"The Jaguars, along with the entire city of Jacksonville, owe a significant debt to all of our servicemen and women," Jaguars owner Shad Khan said. "The opening of the Veterans Resource and Reintegration Center is one way we can collectively return the favor. Whether through assistance with employment, education, housing, medical treatment, or just to provide a hand in connecting all the services together, it's important and wonderful to know that Jacksonville will stand united with our veterans as they return home."
In addition to the new center, the partnership with the city and Jaguars creates a new program to help allocate $50,000 in grant money to area service providers to increase and enhance their services for area military and veterans. Grant funding will be allocated by an advisory board with members from the city, Jaguars Foundation and other area partners. Deutsche Bank provided the first corporate contribution to the fund.
The Jaguars is holding its Military Appreciation Game on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. Free tickets are available for veterans and their families through the USO and there will be a special tribute to the military at halftime.
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