Westport library offering a new program specifically for veterans

Starting this month, Westport Timberland Library began offering remote access to veteran benefit services every other Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

The program launched on January 11, 2022.

Timberland Regional Library (TRL) is expanding its service partnership with WestCare Foundation to open the second Veterans Connection Café (VCC) at the Westport Timberland Library at 101 East Harms Drive in Westport.  

Through the VCC, veterans will be offered convenient and prompt access to a group of experts that includes service officers and coordinated case management services provided by WAServes, an organization that helps guide veterans to appropriate services and available resources.

Veterans, their spouses and family members can set up appointments at the Westport library to receive professional aid with healthcare, pensions, lawyers and other benefits. 

“I am happy to finally be able to offer this to our community,” Westport Timberland Library Manager Jennifer Finlayson said. “I realize that many people do not apply for services that they are entitled to because they don’t know that they are eligible or don’t know how to apply for those services. Now they will have that help.” 

According to WestCare, hundreds of Grays Harbor veterans are eligible for valuable pensions, services and disability awards but have never filed a claim or considered the many benefits exclusively available to them. 

“Because we are so far away from available services, there is an immense need in our community, and for many, traveling is not an option,” Finlayson said. 

WestCare, a family of tax-exempt nonprofit organizations that offer a wide spectrum of health and human services in both residential and outpatient environments, partnered with TRL to open a VCC at the Mountain View Timberland Library in 2019. This was the first library in the state to offer this unique service.  

“We are thrilled to be launching another site with our partners to provide much needed services to our veteran community,” said Timberland Regional Library District Manager Morgan Sohl. “We are grateful for the opportunity to host this valuable resource for our veteran community.” 

In addition to the WestCare Foundation, TRL is partnering with the Aberdeen and Lacey American Legions, Lacey Veterans Service Center and VA (Veterans Affairs) American Lake to expand this innovative community program.