Supporting Veterans in Massachusetts
An Assessment of Needs, Well-Being, and Available Resources
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Massachusetts is home to approximately 380,000 of the nation's more than 21 million veterans, but there has been little research on the resources available to this population at the state level. There are numerous resources available to veterans and other military-affiliated groups in Massachusetts, but there are still pockets of unmet need in the areas of education, employment, health care, housing, financial, and legal services — particularly for newer veterans and current National Guard/reserve members. Although Massachusetts veterans fare better overall than their peers in other states, they lag behind other Massachusetts residents in terms of health and financial status. Massachusetts veterans and National Guard/reserve members who need support and services face such barriers as a lack of knowledge about how to access services, a lack of awareness about eligibility, and geographic distance from service providers. As the veteran population changes both nationally and in Massachusetts, it will be important for public- and private-sector providers serving Massachusetts veterans and service members to continue addressing unmet needs while ensuring that resources are responsive to shifts in these populations. A better understanding of the unique needs of Massachusetts veterans can help inform investments in initiatives that target these populations and guide efforts to remedy barriers to accessing available support services and other resources.