connect / 2018

Los Angeles Veterans Orientation (LAVO)

Los Angeles Veterans Orientation (LAVO)

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Activation Challenge by We Are the Mighty

The Los Angeles Veterans Orienation welcomes veterans to our community and provides a friendly and fun introduction to the benefits veterans need to become successful Angelinos.

Please describe the activation your organization seeks to launch.

The LAVO is an opportunity to directly engage and support the veterans of Los Angeles County. The LAVO provides a casual, informal community for veterans to discuss their needs, obtain information about available resources, and access the robust veteran network in Los Angeles. Hosted at various sites across Los Angeles County, the quarterly orientations maintain a friendly, “small community” approach with attendance ranging from 50-70 veterans each month.

Which of the connect metrics will your activation impact?​

  • Adults getting sufficient social & emotional support
  • Government responsiveness to residents’ needs
  • Total number of local social media friends and connections Angelenos have

Will your proposal impact any other LA2050 goal categories?

  • LA is the best place to LEARN
  • LA is the healthiest place to LIVE

In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • County of Los Angeles

How will your activation mobilize Angelenos?

  • Trainings and/or in-person engagements
  • Encourage businesses to change practices
  • Increase participation in political processes
  • Influence individual behavior
  • Connect Angelenos with impactful volunteer opportunities
  • Increase donations to organizations and causes
  • Increase Veteran Employment, Family Support and access to benefits.

Describe in greater detail how your activation will make LA the best place to connect?

Founded by veterans for veterans, LAVO is a monthly event for veterans who have recently transitioned to LA county where they can come to be introduced to a myriad of benefits, services, and local opportunities. It is a one stop shop for the resources and networks veterans need for a successful transition into the LA veteran community and to Los Angeles overall.

According to a University of Southern California School of Social Work report, nearly 12,000 veterans return to Los Angeles every year, largely unprepared for civilian life. The study found that six in 10 post-9/11 veterans identified assistance needed for employment, education and Veterans Affairs benefits. LAVO can be a preventative measure ensuring veterans find the resources they need before it’s too late.

LAVO will host speakers and representatives who provide various resources for employment, education, VA benefits (medical), family services, housing, and more.

LAVO will provide an atmosphere of camaraderie and social interaction. Every veteran will have an opportunity to introduce themselves and there will be a social atmosphere for veterans to meet one another including veterans who are well connected to the veteran community in LA. Veterans will also be introduced to volunteer and civic opportunities should they want to get involved in their communities. Our goal is to make the most veteran friendly city in the country!

How will your activation engage Angelenos to make LA the best place to connect

LAVO will partner with student veteran populations, local veterans services orgnaizations/providers as well as LA city and county officials to primarily engage veterans who have recently arrived to LA (1 year or less).

Our value is that we make events fun and entertaining first thus allowing veterans to have low pressure and friendly environment to discuss resources/benefits.

LAVO will host speakers and representatives who provide various resources for employment, education, VA benefits (medical), family services, housing, and more. Past speakers have included former NFL players, county officials, city representatives, and various industry leaders.

LAVO provides an atmosphere of camaraderie and social interaction in a location that is unique to Los Angeles so that veterans can discover their resources and city at the same time. Past event locations include LACMA, Disney Studios, Fox Studios, Deloitte’s downtown office and many other veteran friendly locations.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your activation.​

With the LA2050 support, we will measure our success in 3 ways.

1) The LAVO will have the ability to fund four (4) events annually, each with the capacity to host 100 veterans.

2) The LAVO will receive the capability to develop a Veteran Mentorship Program, providing direct support and assistance to 50 veterans annually.

3) The LAVO will be able to expand its outreach and marketing into the San Gabriel Valley, East LA and South Bay. Veterans feel most comfortable talking to other veterans, and the LAVO will ensure that every LA Veteran is welcomed into the LA’s vibrant veteran community.

Where do you hope this activation or your organization will be in five years?

In less than 2 years, LAVO has become the model for other communities in the Southern Califonia to replicate in support of their veterans. In 5 years, we plan for LAVO to be the national model for veterans outreach and that Los Angeles will be the most veteran friendly city in the nation.