NDTI donates office furniture and computers to the Veteran’s Resource Center

NDTI is honored to donate office furniture, computers, kitchen appliances, and office sundries to the Three Oaks Center’s Veteran’s Resource Center (VRC) in Lexington Park, MD.

Names and titles from left to right are as follows:
Andre Rice, President, Three Oaks Board of Directors; Lanny Lancaster, Three Oaks, Executive Director; Cedric Knight, New Directions Technologies, Inc. (NDTI), President & CEO; Sasha Seenath, Three Oaks, Director of Veteran Services, Board of Directors; Patti Brady, Three Oaks, Committee Chairman for Veteran Services, Board of Directors; Willie Woods, New Directions Technologies, Inc. (NDTI), Chairman Board of Advisors.

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“Three Oaks Center's board and staff would like to thank New Directions Technologies, Inc. for their generous

contribution of computers and office furniture. Their donation will be used at our newly opened crisis center which

provides numerous services and resources to individuals in need.”

Lanny Lancaster, Executive Director, Three Oaks Center

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New building at Three Oaks to fill gaps in services

 

By GRETCHEN PHILLIPS gphillips@somdnews.com

 

A new building on the Three Oaks Center campus in Lexington Park will fill gaps in services provided through the center, including the needs of veterans. Purchased through a Community Development Block Grant and with support from many partnerships including the St. Mary’s government, the county’s department of social services and others, the new building, adjacent to the existing Three Oaks Center facility, will house a new veteran’s resource center, an area for six crisis beds and a coordination center for the WARM program.

Patti Brady, a member of the center’s board of directors and chair of the veterans resource committee, said the idea for the resource center stemmed from a gap in services for local veterans that became clear during the Veterans Stand Down event hosted by Three Oaks last year. Veterans Stand Down is an all-day event that provides support and services for Southern Maryland veterans and their families.

Brady formed the Veterans Resource Committee, consisting of a variety of community members, including veterans, health care professionals, local industry professionals, representatives of Three Oaks, representatives of the St. Mary’s County Library and other residents.

“A lot of different people came together to say ‘What can we do for our veterans? How can we fill the voids?’” Brady said. The committee identified access to the Internet, a lack of a central location for local veterans to find resources and access to online job searches as some of the biggest needs.

Brady said some Three Oaks clients would go to the library to use computers, but didn’t have access to everything they needed.

“Right off the bat, we decided we need to figure out how we can give them a computer resource center, with mentorship on resume writing and interviewing techniques,” she said.

The center will also offer classes on subjects such as learning about how to use Microsoft products.

Brady said once the committee started down the path for a resource center, many in the community began learning about it and offering assistance for the services the center would offer. Local corporations donated an entire office worth of furniture and computers for the building.

“The goal is to just help [veterans] get a better exposure to what is out there employment-wise,” Brady said.

The veteran’s resource center would serve as a one-stop-shop that would have a centralized database with services and points of contact.

Brady said the last piece the committee is working on for the resource center is to have a representative from the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs offer appointments on certain days at the center. She said the committee is working with Disabled American Veterans to do the same.

Lt. Patrick Coughlin of the Navy Supply Corps has been part of the committee since it was established. He said he sees the resource center as a huge benefit. Coughlin said it’s a “great way for veterans to fully understand benefits they have and are entitled to."

The supply corps is one of the many partnerships, including groups at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, that are helping with getting the new building and its services up and running.

Brady said as the committee was working toward a resource center, Three Oaks was also looking at areas of need in the non-veteran community.

One need was to have crisis beds to help people who are homeless and were discharged from the hospital, but not well enough to be without a shelter. Another area of need involved the WARM program, which needed a place for clients to check in before going to the churches where they would stay for the night. WARM stands for Wrapping Arms ‘Round Many, and is a program that offers the homeless shelter and a meal during cold weather months.

Brady said both the crisis beds and the check-in area for WARM would be included in the multipurpose building.

“We were able to fill three gaps for our homeless community,” said Lanny Lancaster, executive director of Three Oaks.

He said Three Oaks was able to pull the facility together with a multitude of partners and support from the county commissioners.

Lancaster said the modular building is coming from Pennsylvania and the project will begin moving forward in December.