NORTH LOGAN – It’s a project that has already been 15 months in the making, with a few more to go. But when it’s completed, it will be unlike any other resource for veterans within hundreds of miles. The Dan Gyllenskog Veterans Resource Center, located at 1760 North 200 East Suite 100 in North Logan will combine and consolidate multiple, needed resources for the estimated 15,000+ veterans who reside in Cache, Box Elder, Rich and Franklin counties. Phil Redlinger is the CEO of the center, and says they are holding an open house on Wednesday, November 11th – Veterans Day – so people can see how the center is coming together and how it will help thousands of people in the area.
The open house takes place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. with an official ceremony at 10:30. People can not only see how the center is coming along, but also see what items are still needed. Redlinger says the center’s mission statement is to improve, optimize and create new services for veterans, service members and their families.
“We are veterans helping veterans, serving the community,” he explains. “The key here is that everybody has their hand in the pot helping a veteran. But the barrier is veterans have two societies that they belong to: we have our veteran life/society, and we have our normal society.”
Redlinger says most of the resources that veterans need are in Salt Lake City, which can be a barrier.
“What we’re doing is trying to bring all the organizations that are inside Cache Valley, along with bringing the (Veterans Affairs) and the state VA into the center, that makes it a one-stop shop,” Redlinger explains. “We’ve worked with Family Place and CAPSA, we’ve worked with the state VA, we’ve worked with BRAG.
“We’ve worked with all the organizations in the community, the large ones, that have some (source of) funding that participates in the veteran and service member community. We’ve hoped that we can bring that partnership together into this building and we’ve been able to do that.”
The center is also coordinating with American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Marine Corps League, Marine Corps League auxiliary units, Department of Workforce Services, and Vocational Rehabilitation to have connections and resources available on-site. Additionally, the center will host a homeless transition program, veterans service animal training and more.
“The benefit to this whole entire thing is that we are actually not even a few miles away from a new clinic that is coming up here from the VA. So we’re just down the road. That’s a one-stop shop. Now, as a veteran, I don’t have to go to Salt Lake City, I don’t have to go to the Department of Workforce Services, I don’t have to go to CAPSA all in one day. I can go to one place. And that’s the benefit.”
The center is currently under construction, but Redlinger is optimistic it will be open for business by the end of the year. But donations are still needed for it to be fully operational. He says the center is not able to apply for grants until they are officially open.
“We need a lot of help. We’re a grass roots non-profit. We’ve identified a huge need,” adds Redlinger. “We’ve been pushing hard to make sure that it happens, and we’re here. But a lot of the grants we are waiting for, that are just waiting for us to finalize, can’t be done until the doors are open. We’re raising funds to help us keep the lights on.”
Redlinger says there is a massive list of amazing donors and volunteers who have come together to help make the center a reality, who all deserve gratitude. More information is available at cachevalleyveterans.org.