NEW YORK, Feb. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Robin Hood is pleased to announce that Admiral Mike Mullen, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and S.A.C. Capital Advisors, L.P. Founder Steven Cohen will co-chair a new Veterans Advisory Board dedicated to addressing the many challenges that face today's veterans. The Board will focus on finding and developing the most effective poverty-fighting models to help returning veterans and their families.
The hardships facing today's veterans can be overwhelming: one in five veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan report a service-related disability or suffer from post traumatic stress (PTS) or major depression; two-thirds of vets who are fortunate enough to find a job lose that job within one year; and 20% of all suicides in the U.S. are veterans.
With these alarming statistics in mind, Robin Hood supporters took action; they raised $12.1 million at Robin Hood's annual benefit in May 2011 to launch the Veterans Fund. Members of the Advisory Board will direct money from the fund toward those programs and initiatives – both public and private – that have demonstrated the most potential for serving our returning military heroes.
Already, Robin Hood has invested over $3.5 million in more than 15 grants and initiatives to serve vets, including a first-of-its-kind behavioral health clinic for families of vets suffering from PTS and other mental health issues. In partnership with the City of NY, Robin Hood and three of its grantees have pledged to move over 300 homeless vets currently living on New York City streets into permanent housing by the end of 2012. Other grants made by the fund include support for legal services, jobs, health care and education support aimed at New York City vets.
Admiral Mullen, who retired last year as the country's top military officer, has been widely recognized for his work on behalf of wounded servicemen and women, families of the fallen, and veterans. "I am honored to be able to continue to serve the young men and women who have given so much to our country. My wife Deborah and I greatly appreciate Robin Hood's commitment to ensuring these remarkable patriots enjoy the futures they fought for."
Steve Cohen, a Robin Hood board member since 2004, and founder of SAC Capital Advisors, is a long-time champion of veterans' issues. "I am honored to serve as co-chairman of the Veterans Advisory Board with Admiral Mullen. Admiral Mullen knows first-hand the challenges that many of our returning servicemen and women face, and it is our shared hope that the work Robin Hood accomplishes in New York will serve as a model for other cities, and thus help thousands more veterans and their families."
"I am so grateful to Admiral Mullen and Steve Cohen for leading the charge helping New York City's vets," said David Saltzman, executive director of Robin Hood. "The Advisory Board will work with a cross-section of organizations in the government, private sector, and non-profit arenas – wherever there is an innovative and effective idea – to give our returning heroes the help they so richly deserve."
Over the course of the next several weeks, Robin Hood will be appointing new members to the Veterans Advisory Board, and making announcements regarding new grants and funding initiatives.
Robin Hood is New York City's largest private funder of poverty-fighting programs.
About Robin Hood
For more than 20 years, Robin Hood has fought poverty in New York City. It finds, funds and partners with programs that have proven to be an effective remedy to poverty and is a consistent force for good in the lives of New Yorkers in need. Robin Hood employs a rigorous system of metrics and third-party evaluation to ensure accountability from organizations that receive its' funds. The board pays all administrative and fundraising costs, so 100% of donations go directly to helping New Yorkers in need. It works closely with groups that receive grants to make them more effective, enabling them to assist even more people. In 2011, Robin Hood invested over $146 million in more than 200 programs and schools, directly touching the lives of over 400,000 New Yorkers.
Office of Admiral Mike Mullen
SOURCE Robin Hood