Vets As Volunteers

Vets as Volunteers is a Supported Volunteer Program at the Errera Community Care Center, and it is one of the only such programs in the country.  Originally conceived by Stephanie Riccardi, PsyD and co-directed with Donna Golden, PhD, the program is currently a community integration group within CRP.  Vets as Volunteers offers veterans enrolled in the E.C.C.C. the opportunity to volunteer on a weekly basis as a group in the community.  CRP staff, including Donna Golden, PhD and Peer Specialists Moe Armstrong and Paul Thompson, facilitate and volunteer alongside veterans, providing the necessary assistance to support their success.

Since it’s beginning in the spring of 2014, veterans have worked in partnership with a number of community agencies including the Yale Soup Kitchen, the Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen, the West Haven Senior Center and W.H.E.A.T. Food Pantry.  Veterans have stated that volunteering in the program has provided purpose, afforded them the chance to focus on something other than their illness and symptoms, allowed them to try new things, establish new friendships and experience success. They are making a difference in their communities and having fun in the process! 

This Group Photo along with the others on this page were taken during National Volunteer Appreciation Month, April 2015.

Veterans each wrote down a word that described their experience of volunteering in the Vets as Volunteer Program:

While the contents of this site have been developed in cooperation with VA personnel, it is not an official site of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Vets as Volunteers pictured: Ralph Clyburn, Howard Sak, Efrain Reyes, Ernie Krause, Orie Jenkins, Frank Perkins, John Watts.

Staff:  Donna Golden, PhD,  Stephanie Riccardi, PsyD,, Kelsey Rukstelis, MSW Student Volunteer, Moe Armstrong, Peer Specialist, Paul Thompson, Peer Specialist.

ECCC Director: Laurie Harkness 

Wheat Food Pantry January - April 2015

Yale Soup Kitchen February - April 2015

Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen