Cuyahoga County this summer set aside unused veterans service dollars to go back to veterans.
Among the recipients is Cuyahoga Community College, which is funding $500 scholarships for unemployed veterans training for new jobs.
Tri-C is making the scholarships available for up to 146 students with the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program. That’s a federal initiative helping older veterans who have been unemployed pay for tuition.
Tri-C is offering this extra boost to help vets afford for things like books and tuition down payments.
The money’s from a pool of cash the county’s veterans service commission had leftover after last year. County Executive Ed FitzGerald says otherwise, those dollars would have gone back to the general fund.
“It didn’t strike us as just the right thing to do to then take the money and say, well, if the Veterans Service Commission hasn’t spent it, then we’ll use it for our own purposes,” FitzGerald said. “It’s not as if the needs of our veterans were being met and this money was left over. We think there’s a lot of needs of our veterans that still aren’t being met.”
This summer, County Council repurposed more than $733,000 in leftover veterans service money, and added $25,000 to that. Those funds were redirected to uses such as other grants for veterans studying at Cleveland State University, Cleveland’s veterans’ court and services for veterans who are homeless.