Representative Linda Dean Campbell of Methuen has successfully secured $300,000 for the Veterans Northeast Outreach Center (VNOC) in Haverhill in a preliminary version of the annual state budget. The House of Representatives unanimously adopted the funding as part of a package of veteran-related appropriations.
Founded in 1985, the VNOC originally provided support and advocacy to Vietnam veterans and has since expanded to offer care to over 50,000 eligible veterans of all eras across the northeastern part of the state. The center’s services include advocacy, referrals, educational and vocational support, and food and housing assistance. State funding ensures the center can continue to provide high-quality services to local veterans in need.
Representative Campbell, currently serving as House Chair of the Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs, was proud to see the funding adopted. “The Merrimack Valley and surrounding committees are home to thousands of veterans and their families in need of critical services, from housing to addiction recovery to mental health care. Allocating funds to outreach centers such as the VNOC ensures veterans receive the services they need right away from individuals they know and trust,” Representative Campbell said.
The House of Representatives finished their budget deliberations on Thursday, and a similar process will follow in the Senate in May. The House and Senate versions of the budget will then be negotiated before a final version is sent to Governor Charlie Baker’s desk for review. ◊