Over the Fall, JHP undertook a range of programs with disabled military veterans in five counties in New York State, including Broome (Binghampton), Monroe (Rochester), Nassau (Hicksville) and Suffollk (Babylon) in Long Island, and in Westchester (White Plains).
The program was funded by the New York State Council on The Arts (NYSCA) and the Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) and was aimed at helping Veterans with disabilities towards paid and unpaid employment in photography related services.
JHP had established ground breaking partnerships between itself, local Arts Councils and the local VA Veterans Centers. JHP has a proud history of working with US Department of Veterans Affairs’ run Veterans Centers. The Centers provide a broad range of counseling, outreach, and referral services to combat Veterans and their families guide Veterans and their families through many of the major adjustments that often occur after a Veteran returns from combat.
Taught by professional photographers and culminating in exhibitions of the Veterans’ work in public spaces, including galleries, libraries and civic centers, the programs are transformative for most:
In JHP evaluations of the program Veterans write movingly: “The experience has given me passion and fun back in my life”, and for another, “the program has made me see the world in a different way. For the first time in 15 years, I am interested in joining it”.
As do their families: “I cannot express my thanks – this program has brought my husband alive – for the first time that I can remember in nearly twenty-five years. It has been that dramatic.” And, “It is my sincere hope [that] the Josephine Herrick Project will be able to continue this valuable program for our veterans who are in desperate need to feel safe and have outlets to express themselves through the visual arts when words are too painful to vocalize. ”
These programs will be continuing over 2018. They make such an enormous difference to the lives of the veterans we work with, and their families.