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Program seeks to assist lonely veterans

Female Veterans Getting Care
Posted at 11:17 AM, Jan 26, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-26 12:17:51-05

Research shows three out of five Americans are lonely and our nation's heroes are no exception.

The Department of Veteran's Affairs created the Compassionate Contact Corps program in response to the pandemic. It pairs volunteers with lonely and socially isolated veterans to help them find meaningful social interactions.

"We started at eight sites around the country and now, we're at over 65,” said Prince Taylor, deputy director for voluntary services with Veteran’s Affairs. “So we're definitely expanding. Last year, we made over 13.000 individual phone calls to veterans."

Typically, volunteers call veterans about once a week over the phone or through video calls.

"About a year ago, we did a survey and we found out that 85% of the veterans in the program feel that it does make them feel less lonely, and over 92% say that the program makes them feel like the VA cares about their overall well-being, which of course we do, but we're able to do that without a pill or psychotherapy or anything of that nature,” Taylor said.

More than 3,000 veterans have been matched with volunteers since the program started.

If you'd like to volunteer, reach out to your local VA or go to its website.