Honoring Veterans by Offering Easier Access to Services and Benefits

 QUEENS, NY – Borough President Melinda Katz and Mayor’s Office of Veterans’ Affairs (MOVA) Commissioner Loree Sutton, joined by State Senator Joseph Addabbo, Jr., Assemblymember Michael DenDekker, City Councilmembers Eric Ulrich, Donovan Richards and Queens veterans, unveiled the newly opened MOVA Satellite Office located inside Queens Borough Hall. The Satellite Office in Queens is the first of its kind to be opened by MOVA and is designed to enhance accessibility to MOVA services without having to travel to the Municipal Building in Lower Manhattan.

“More veterans call Queens home than any other borough, and we honor their service to our nation and their sacrifices for our freedoms,” said Borough President KATZ. “The members of our Armed Services and their families shouldn’t have to cross a bridge or a tunnel and pay a toll to access government services and benefits. We’re pleased to welcome the MOVA Satellite Office here at Queens Borough Hall, the first of its kind outside Manhattan.”

“I am proud to stand with Borough President Katz in cutting the ribbon commemorating the opening of the first Satellite Office of the Mayor’s Office of Veterans’ Affairs,” said MOVA Commissioner SUTTON, a retired U.S. Army brigadier general.  “Under the leadership of Mayor Bill de Blasio and with the stalwart support of Borough President Katz, we can truly demonstrate our unwavering support and heartfelt gratitude for those Queens residents who have served our country on our behalf.  In the convenience of their home borough, veterans and their families can meet our team of outreach specialists to learn more about benefits, resources, and services available for them to fulfill their education and career opportunities, ensure their physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing, and connect homeless veterans with permanent housing and support services.”

“The opening of the Mayor’s Office of Veterans Affairs site in Queens is a turning point in our ongoing effort to provide our veterans with the best help and resources available to them,” said State Senator ADDABBO, Jr., ranking member of the Senate Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs. “With the establishment of this location, veterans all across our borough will have better access to programs and services that will improve their quality of life and make sure the sacrifices they made to protect our country never go unnoticed. I thank Borough President Katz and all those involved in making this site a reality and urge all veterans across Queens to take advantage of this great opportunity to get the help they might need, right in their own backyards.”
“I am very happy to see MOVA open a Satellite Office in Queens,” said Assemblymember DENDEKKER, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. “This new office will give Queens veterans greater access to the services that they need and deserve, particularly those veterans with limited mobility who may be unable to travel to Manhattan. Expanding access is a crucial step towards ensuring veterans receive the support and respect they have earned.”

“From this day forward, veterans in Queens will have access to every level of government and will be able to speak directly with highly-trained benefits counselors at Borough Hall,” said City Councilmember ULRICH, Chair of the Council Committee on Veterans. “I thank my good friend Borough President Melinda Katz and Commissioner Loree Sutton for improving the way we serve those who have served us.” Councilmember ULRICH was the prime sponsor of the legislation that will elevate MOVA from a mayoral office into full departmental status as the New York City Department of Veterans Services. The change will take effect when the City’s new fiscal year begins on July 1, 2016.

“All too often, our veterans are left behind, but New York City has a stronger focus on their welfare with the new Mayor’s Office of Veterans’ Affairs and the addition of the Satellite Office will help ensure that Queens residents don’t have to leave the borough to access the vital resources provided across the city,” said City Councilmember DONOVAN RICHARDS. “I’d like to thank Mayor de Blasio and Queens Borough President Katz for collaborating on bringing services to the heart of Queens at Borough Hall.”

The MOVA Satellite Office is located on the second floor of Queens Borough Hall and is open from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM, Tuesdays through Thursdays (excluding City holidays). The MOVA Satellite Office has a Community Outreach Specialist present (certified by the New York State Division of Veterans’ Affairs) to assist veterans in accessing federal, state and city benefits that they are entitled to as a result of their military service. The MOVA Satellite Office can also connect veterans with employment and training opportunities, housing and homeless prevention assistance, health and education services and more.

“Having a MOVA Satellite Office in Queens will be of great benefit to Queens veterans, especially those who have injuries or disabilities that may limit their mobility and make it difficult to travel all the way to the main office in Lower Manhattan,” said SAMUEL MANTILLA, a Vietnam Veteran and a Past Commander of the Disabled American Veterans of New York State. “Thank you to everyone who played a role in bringing valuable benefits and services within closer reach of the veterans who need and deserve them.”

“The establishment of this MOVA Satellite Office in Queens shows that the city does care about the welfare of military veterans, who have sacrificed so much to safeguard our nation’s freedom and security,” said PAUL SCHOTTENHAMEL, a Vietnam Veteran, Queens County Commander of the American Legion and retired Lieutenant Colonel of the United States Army. “We have the largest veteran population in the city. The Borough of Queens is the first to get a Satellite Office, rightfully so, and we’re honored by that. We hope that this Satellite Office will serve our veteran community just as well as the main office in Manhattan.”

Queens has the largest and most diverse population of veterans in the City of New York. Following the opening of the MOVA Satellite Office in Queens, additional Satellite Offices are slated to open in Brooklyn, the Bronx and Staten Island. Recent increases in the budget for MOVA and the upcoming elevation of MOVA from a mayoral office into a full-fledged city agency helped make the opening of the Satellite Office possible. The MOVA Satellite Office at Queens Borough Hall can be reached by telephone at 718.286.2868.

Follow Borough President Katz via @melindakatz or www.facebook.com/queensbpkatz