United for Veterans

United for Veterans volunteers and local veterans


Over the years, veterans and their family members have expressed the critical need United for Veterans logo for expanded, wrap-around services throughout our rural communities to United Way staff, board and volunteers. Understanding the need, UWNEMN recruited Wilder Research to help determine the most critical issues for UWNEMN to focus on.  Wilder Research spent the better part of 2014 conducting Key Informant Interviews with veterans, their family members and local service providers. There was also an online survey available for those that preferred to participate that way.

Veterans expressed their biggest challenges were related to healthcare services which included long wait times, long distance travel, few qualified providers that understand, and concerns with social stigma and confidentiality. A family member expressed concern regarding their father, “There is such a stigma around mental health and seeking out help…. They are trained to be strong, they are trained to shut off that emotional part of them….,” Additional struggles expressed were issues with financial stability and employment as well as the culture shock when returning to civilian life. One veteran who served during Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) stated, “Emotional bonding levels are challenging. They want to know exactly what happened, what I did, but I get frustrated telling the story over and over again…”

UWNEMN is focusing on the most critical issues at hand with the support of a committee "United for Veterans" that is comprised of local veterans from the Iron Range whose mission is: "To create an environment of honor and respect for all fellow comrades in Northeastern Minnesota, while developing opportunities, supporting those in need and empowering veterans."   UWNEMN’s vision is that all veterans in Northeastern Minnesota will have access not only to health care, financial stability and employment but to high quality and culturally competent support. This access and support will allow veterans, their families, and our communities to flourish, grow and thrive.

Current programming includes:

2. Development of a veterans resource center at Hibbing Community College which created a space on campus for veterans to study as well as access the veteran service officer who provides assistance with the G.I. Bill and other military benefits. 
3. A crisis fund which allows veterans and servicemembers experiencing a hardship to apply for financial assistance to offset the cost of a basic living expense. Applicants must be referred by their local VSO. 
4. Annual local retreats for veterans.
5. Grant disbursements to local veteran service organizations. Most recent was a $10,000 grant to Veterans on the Lake Resort in Ely, a barrier-free resort that serves veterans and their families throughout the Midwest. This grant will be used to provide scholarships to veterans that may not otherwise be able to afford their stay at the resort and Gold Star Military families.
6. Annual holiday meal kits are disbursed to local veterans that have been supported by the Crisis Fund or referred by a local County Veteran Service office. To refer a veteran, click here.
7. The United for Veterans/MACV Transitional Home is the only transitional home for homeless veterans in our region.
8. Veterans Connections is a free program to encourage physical and mental wellness as well as build community for local veterans across our region.
9. Operation: Soldier Story, an oral history project in partnership with St. Louis County Historical Society's Veterans Memorial Hall and with support from Veterans Community Thrift Store.
The purpose of this application is to request approval for funding support to cover basic living expenses. The following information requested will be used to determine your personal financial situation and what your needs are. All requests will be reviewed by a committee of 2-3 staff from the United Way of Northeastern Minnesota and remain confidential. Grants cannot be processed without the form completed in full. Please note that completing this paperwork does not guarantee the request will be approved.

Maximum Request Amount: $500 a year per person/family.

  1. Section One – Personal Information: Complete ALL information requested
  1. Section Two – List of bills to be considered for payment: Please note, United Way does not make contributions to individuals. Payments will be made directly to the creditor. A copy of the current bill requested for consideration should  be uploaded.
  1. Section Three – Reason for Request: Please provide a narrative stating the reason for your request, what caused the hardship and what you will or are doing to make sure the issue is resolved.
  1. Economic Analysis – This is a simple budget to determine your monthly income and expenditures. Be precise and inclusive when completing this.
  • Under Section A: Present Financial Resources include:
    • ALL INCOME for the month​​​​​​
  • Under Section B: Basic Living Expenses include:
    • ONLY current month expenses; AND
    • If a bill is in arrears and due in full, the participants needs to work out a payment plan with the creditor to get the bill paid off – whatever that monthly amount is can be used as a Basic Living Expense
    • Food and transportation estimates can be used as follows:

                                                FOOD ESTIMATION:                           
                                                Single person                        -               $250.00

                                                Family of 2                            -               $477.00
                                                Family of 3                            -               $572.00
                                                Family of 4                            -               $860.00
                                                Over 4                                    -               add $100.00 each addt’l person
                                (Official USDA Food Plans: Cost of Food at Home at Four Levels, U.S. Average)

                                                TRANSPORTATION ESTIMATION:    $.575 per mile
  1. REQUIRED back-up documentation:      
  • Copies of most recent monthly income statements
  • Copies of actual current month’s bills requesting consideration for payment
  • Copies of most recent bank statement/s
  • Copy of DD214

Section One

Contact Information
Marital Status

Section Two

Requesting consideration for payment on the following:
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Section Three

Economic Analysis

Please click here to download the Economic Analysis. Fill it out & save it as "[YOUR NAME] Economic Analysis" then upload it below. 
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Back-Up Documentation

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Please click here to download the release of information, save it as "[YOUR NAME] Release of Information" and upload it below.
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United Way of Northeastern Minnesota's United for Veterans Program is proud to offer Veterans Connections to improve overall wellbeing while building community for veterans and service members in northeastern Minnesota!

Click here for the full list of 2024 Veterans Connections activities.


The Wall That Heals was in Chisholm June 23-26, 2022!

United Way of Northeastern Minnesota's United for Veterans committee was proud to help bring the preeminent replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to the area for Vietnam veterans, family members, and other members of the public. 

Click HERE for a video recap of The Wall That Heals in Chisholm from WDSE. 

Click HERE to learn more about The Wall That Heals and where it will stop next!

Thank you sponsors!

Your service made history.

Preserve your story with Operation: Service Story!

Project Goal: Collect oral histories from veterans and service members across United Way of Northeastern Minnesota's service area to encourage healing and build community.

This project will also support the efforts of the St. Louis County Historical Society (SLCHS)'s Veterans Memorial Hall, and materials will be made available to local educators as permission allows.

Project Plan: United Way of Northeastern Minnesota has assembled a team of local volunteers who will be trained to collect the histories of veterans/service members from the Iron Range, Koochiching County, and Lake of the Woods County.

Veterans/service members interviewed will be given the option to keep their history private, share with the SLCHS archive or other local, state, and/or national archives, and/or have parts of their story used for a potential book project. 

Interested? Fill out a short form online, and someone from United Way of Northeastern Minnesota will be in touch when it's time to begin scheduling interviews! (To have a paper form mailed to you, please call 218-254-3329.)

Click here to express interest in being interviewed for Operation: Service Story

Operation: Service Story is an oral history project organized through United Way of Northeastern Minnesota's United for Veterans program in partnership with St. Louis County Historical Society's Veterans Memorial Hall and with support from Veterans Community Thrift Store.

To view the synopsis of Wilder Research's veterans study for UWNEMN please CLICK HERE

To view the full report please CLICK HERE.

For more information regarding United for Veterans, please contact Michelle at 218-215-2424 or michelle@unitedwaynemn.org 

Want to support local veterans? Consider donating to UWNEMN's United for Veterans program.

$100 covers the cost of one holiday meal kit for a local veteran and their family to celebrate for a holiday weekend. 

To donate online, click here, or consider designating to United for Veterans in your payroll deduction at your workplace. Checks can be mailed directly to 608 East Drive, Chisholm, MN 55719. If you'd like your donation to support United for Veterans, please indicate so in your check memo.