OWEGO, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – A Tioga County agency dedicated to serving those who served finally has room to maneuver
The Tioga County Veterans’ Service Agency held an open house today to show off its new offices in the Ronald E Dougherty County Office Building in Owego.
The agency had been housed in a single 20 foot by 20 foot room in the Health and Human Service Building on Route 38.
The new location has a lot more space, including a training room and a conference room.
Plus, staff have individual offices so that they can meet with veterans privately.
Since Mike Middaugh took over as director in 2016, the agency has grown from 2 part-time employees and 4 staff members.
The number of services has also grown.
Middaugh says he wants any veteran, active duty military or family member who is struggling to know that they are not alone.
“Our veterans are a proud community. They don’t ask for help. They don’t like to take handouts. Our office doesn’t offer a handout, we offer a hand up. We offer to be their battle buddy to continue walking that journey with them as long as they need it. Finding ways around, over and under any obstacles to meet those needs,” he said.
The Veterans’ Service Agency assists vets with accessing their benefits from the VA and state and local programs.
It also offers the Dwyer peer support program which can help address mental health and substance use disorder problems.
There’s also mental health first aid training, help with clothing and food insecurity, vouchers to use at farmers markets and farm stands and assistance with transitioning out of the military.
For more information, call 687-8228.
Or stop by the new office between 8:30 and 5 on workdays at 56 Main Street Suite 203.