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State Senator

Cathy Osten

Representing Columbia, Franklin, Hebron, Lebanon, Ledyard, Lisbon, Marlborough, Montville, Norwich & Sprague

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Sen. Osten Awaits State Bonding for Norwich-Area Veterans Center

State Senator Cathy Osten (D-Sprague) announced today that the State Bond Commission is expected to approve a $2.5 million state grant for the Easterseals’ Veterans Rally Point program at its Norwich campus in order to renovate 18,000 square feet of space and provide a comprehensive, regional service center for veterans, service members and their families in eastern Connecticut. The State Bond Commission is scheduled to meet at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, July 25 in the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.

“There are about a quarter-million veterans in Connecticut, all of them with different needs. Some are older and need help getting benefits. Some are younger, having done several tours in Afghanistan or Iraq, and they need education, job-training, housing or counselling—things like that. That’s what this expanded Rally Point center is going to provide,” said Sen. Osten, who is a U.S. Army veteran. “I’ve spoken with the folks at Easterseals, and they made the case that eastern Connecticut has a lot of Gulf War veterans. I think this is a great location for the program and I thank the governor and the Bond Commission for their consideration of this project and the benefits it will bring our military veterans and their families.”

Beth A. Pritchard, the executive vice president and chief marketing & philanthropy officer for Easterseals Capital Region & Eastern Connecticut, said she is grateful for the “steadfast support and outstanding leadership” of Sen. Osten in seeking to secure the state bonding.

“This is an expansion of the philanthropy-funded, free, life-changing services that we currently provide and which will create a ‘one-stop’ holistic center for veterans, military service members and their families that provides a hand up to live their best life.

Services at the expanded center will include employment, emergency financial assistance, mental health, peer-to-peer support, education and job-skill training, navigating military benefits, legal services, service coordination, caregiver training and support, a fitness center, social activities, and more,” Pritchard said. “This buildout will allow us to increase our impact footprint in a region of Connecticut that has the highest per-capita veteran population in the state.”

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