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NYC Dept. of Veterans Services Newsletter

NYC Department of Veterans' Services (DVS) Weekly Newsletter


NYC schools close amid virus surge.
Learn how you can help fight the second wave

On Wednesday, November 18th, NYC reached a 3% test positivity rate for COVID-19 and, as a result, the NYC Department of Education temporarily closed all public school buildings for in-person learning. Beginning Thursday, November 19th, all students who were learning in school buildings part of the week will transition to remote learning every day. If your child needs a device or technical support for remote learning, call the NYC DOE IT Help Desk at 718-935-5100 and press 5 to get assistance. Learn more about school closures due to the rise of COVID-19 here.

On Wednesday, November 19th, Governor Andrew Cuomo stated that New York City will face greater restrictions on businesses, houses of worship, and gatherings should its positivity rate reach 3%. Later that day, the American death toll surpassed 250,000.

Responding to the Second Wave

"This city doesn't back down from a fight. We didn't at the beginning of this pandemic and we won't now. This moment is a real challenge, but it's one that we can and will overcome - together." - Mayor Bill De Blasio

Below are ways you can help NYC fight back against the second wave:

  • Get tested for COVID-19 whether or not you have been symptoms. Regular testing can help identify the virus sooner and, since many carriers are asymptomatic, getting tested is the only way to know if you are actively spreading COVID-19. Free testing is available to all New Yorkers. Find a free testing site here.

  • In an effort to prevent the virus from spreading, Contact Tracers with the NYC Test and Trace Corps call every New Yorker who has tested positive or who has been exposed to COVID-19. Please answer the phone if you get a call from:

          - NYC Test+Trace
          - A phone number beginning with 212-540-XXXX or 212-242-XXXX

  • Stay home as much as you can.

  • Wear a mask whenever you're outside the home. The CDC states that wearing a mask protects the wearer from infection and prevents the virus from spreading. The CDC recommends wearing non-valved, multi-layer cloth masks. 

  • If you have to go outdoors, stay six feet apart from others. 

  • DON'T travel or go to places where the virus can be particularly infectious - such as indoor gatherings, bars, gyms, restaurants, cafes, and hotels.

  • Do not travel this holiday season. Traveling right now puts you, your family, and your community at risk of getting sick and spreading COVID-19. If you must travel, plan ahead, take precautions, and be prepared to quarantine. Learn more here.

  • Please avoid gatherings this Holiday season, skip in-person dinners, and opt for virtual gatherings with your family.

  • Get your flu shot if you haven't already. Learn where to get a free flu shot here. If you are enrolled in a VA healthcare system, you can get a no-cost flu shot at a VA medical facility or in-network community location. Learn more

  • Download COVID Alert NY, the mobile contact tracing app. The app provides exposure alerts if you were in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19.

DVS Launches New Website


We recently streamlined and cleaned up our website in an effort to better serve our constituents. We want to make it easy for veterans to find resources, connect to services, and learn more about DVS. 

Review our new website at or take a closer look at our new webpages below:

Connect to Services:

Support a Veteran:


Contact Us:

Extending Supportto Veteran Organizations


DVS has extended the deadline for Veteran Service Organizations to apply for a $100 Home Depot gift card. The deadline is now Sunday, January 31st, 2021 (11:59 pm).

Get help purchasing supplies required for safe social distancing, facility upkeep, or general operations. Apply here.


Protecting NYC Veterans


Three years ago, New York City made veterans a protected class, creating legal protections against discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations. Thank you to the New York City Commission on Human Rights for enforcing this law and helping protect NYC veterans from discrimination, bias, and harassment.

Together, we're working to make NYC the best city in the country for veterans and their families! Learn more about the NYC law that established veterans as a protected class here.

Veteran Resources

Free Career Training


Alliance Computing Solution is offering free courses to veterans looking for employment training. Review the available courses below:

Home Health Aide (HHA)
The HHA program teaches students how to help the elderly, the disabled, and people in ill health to maintain their quality of life and independence at home. Upon successful completion, you'll receive the HHA Certification.

The online Accounting/Bookkeeping program provides instruction on accounting equations, accounts receivable, accounts payable, revenue and expenses, payroll accounting, and more.  

Solar Technology Length
This online/in-person training program provides instruction for those looking to become a Solar Panel Installer Technician.

Security Guard /Fire Guard Length
Courses are available on the role of the security guard, legal powers and limitations, and emergency situations.

For more information contact:
David Jenkins - | 929-506-9525
Freddie Crespo - | 929-506-9522 or 212-868-5990

Military Women Startup Accelerator


The Penfed Foundation is offering the Military Women Startup Accelerator workshop to prepare women veteran business owners for business-focused education, business development, and scaling strategies. The workshop launches on January 14th, 2021, and will be held every Thursday from 12:00 to 1:30 pm. The workshop culminates in a pitch competition at the Military Influencers Conference between May 5th and 7th, 2021. Learn more.

Online Veteran Events

USVCC Career Fair


The United States Veterans Chamber of Commerce is hosting a free Career and Education Fair for veterans, as well as their spouses and caregivers. Participants will have the opportunity to have their resumes seen by employers and higher education institutions. 

Wednesday, Dec. 9th | 9 am - 4 pm
Thursday, Dec. 10th | 12:00 pm - 5 pm


A Look Back at Veterans Day 2020

Honoring Women Veterans


On November 10th, Team DVS member Cassandra Alvarez joined a ceremony to pay tribute to women who served as service members, healthcare workers, volunteers, and codebreakers. The ceremony was held at a newly discovered memorial grove in Central Park, planted in 1925 to honor women who served in WW1.


Preparing Meals on Veterans Day


On the morning of Veterans Day, DVS joined Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, the Campaign Against Hunger, and Black Veterans for Social Justice, Inc to participate in a weekly volunteer effort to prepare HelloFresh meal kits for veterans.

Every week, close to 400 veteran households receive meals through this project. To learn how you can join this volunteer effort, email

"We repay the debt we owe to veterans by ensuring they have good jobs, fresh food and decent homes. "- Lt. Governor Hochul


Paying Respect to Fallen Veterans


DVS Deputy Chief of Staff Quamid Francis laid a wreath at Woodlawn Cemetery to pay respect to fallen veterans. We were joined by NY State Senator Jamaal Bailey, NY State Assemblyman Jeff Dinowitz, and NYC Councilman Andrew Cohen.


Celebrating Veterans Aboard the Intrepid


DVS Commissioner James Hendon joined Mayor Bill de Blasio and the United War Veterans Council for a Veterans Day celebration aboard the Intrepid Museum.


Honoring Our Past


Late on Veterans Day, DVS Commissioner James Hendon participated in a ceremony to honor WW2 veteran Lt. Si Spiegel.

There wasn't a parade this year, but we hope you had the opportunity to honor someone who is important to you and recognize their sacrifice.

DVS Programs & Initiatives 

Reaching Out to Veterans Across NYC

Mission: VetCheck volunteers make support calls to NYC veterans and provide information about essential services, including free meals, COVID-19 testing, and mental health resources. 

Sign up to Volunteer
Request a Check-in Call


Feeding Veterans in Need 

One of the largest concerns facing New Yorkers during the pandemic is food insecurity.

To address this need, DVS partnered with GetFoodNYC to deliver meals to homebound veterans.

DVS is also working with the NYS Division of Veteran Services and the Campaign Against Hunger, to distribute 350 to 400 HelloFresh food kits to veteran households per week. 

Request food.
To learn how to volunteer to prepare meal kits, contact DVS at 


Helping File VA Claims


Housing Veterans During the Pandemic


Providing Masks to Veterans

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