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Indiana Veterans Center: The First of Its Kind

The Indiana Veterans Center opened in early 2020 as the first centralized location for Hoosier Veterans services, providing access to many needed resources. According to Brigadier General J. Stewart Goodwin USAF (Ret), Executive Director of the Indiana War Memorials Commission, “No other state that we know of offers all these services under one roof. It is our responsibility to take care of those who took care of us.” 

Located at 777 N. Meridian Street in Indianapolis, the Center is the first structure that was built on the Indiana War Memorials property in 1924. Since then, the building has been continually used in assisting Veterans. It began as the home of the National Headquarters for the American Legion, housing the organization from 1925 to 1950. When the American Legion outgrew the space and moved, the building became home to the American Legion Department of Indiana from 1959 to 2014. 

The Vision of a One-Stop-Shop 

The Indiana Veterans Center was an idea that came to fruition over the last decade. General Goodwin and Jim Brown, then Director of the Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs, envisioned a central location that would provide every available benefit to all Hoosier Veterans and eligible family members. Newly empty and historically significant to Indiana Veterans, the 777 N. Meridian Street building was the ideal location for a one-stop-shop hub. 

The nearly 100-year-old building needed numerous updates, but that required significant funding. Fortunately, then Governor Mike Pence appropriated funds to do just that from an account allocated to maintaining, building and recovering state properties. Many modern renovations were made, including ramps compliant with the American Disabilities Act as well as the addition of restrooms to each floor. And all was done while preserving the historic 1920s era architecture. Once the renovations were completed, the Indiana Department of Veteran Affairs relocated from the Indiana Government South into the building, representing all counties in Indiana. 

Home to Many Agencies and Services

Many call the Indiana Veterans Center home. Here is what you’ll find:

Occupants of 777 N. Meridian

FLOOR 1

  • Veteran Benefit Administration (VBA)
  • VA Housing and Urban Development VA Supportive Housing Vocational Rehabilitation (VocRehab)
  • Volunteers of America
  • Disabled American Veterans
  • VFW
  • INVets
  • American Legion

FLOOR 2

  • Federal VA – Veteran Health Initiative (HUD VASH Clinic)

FLOOR 3

  • IDVA 
    • State Approving Agency
    • Training & Services
    • MFRF
    • Outreach & Communication
    • Legislative & Legal
    • State Veteran Service Officers
    • Department of Workforce DepartmentPartnership
      • Local Veterans Employment Specialist (LVER)
      • Disabled Veteran Outreach Program Specialist (DVOP)

FLOOR 4

  • Operation Job Ready – Veterans
  • Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans
  • Auditorium
  • Veteran Organization office space

Services and Assistance 

  • Medical and healthcare enrollment 
  • Housing for homeless veterans and their families (available through a collaborative program with the Department of Housing and Urban Development)
  • Permanent housing (available through VA Supportive Housing Program (HUD-VASH)
  • Representatives from the Department of Veterans Affairs Regional Office to answer questions regarding veteran benefits from filing a claim to burial benefits 

In addition, the center provides technology access and abundant space for training, staff meetings and conferences. Veterans are encouraged to come and use computers and the Internet as needed. Located on the Indiana War Memorials Historic District, the Indiana Veterans Center is a federal, state and local center that proudly provides countless services to Veterans in one location.  

Open for Hoosier Veterans 

The Indiana Veterans Center is now open to Veterans across the state. Providing all of these services in one location simplifies access in one location, and we are extremely proud to be at the forefront of providing this type of service to our service members. 

“Our goal is to serve Indiana’s Veterans in the best possible way,” said Dennis Wimer, Director of Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs, “and I know we can do that at the Indiana Veterans Center.” 

Learn more about the Indiana Veterans Center:


(https://www.legion.org/magazine/)

Sources:

https://www.in.gov/dva/4053.htm 
https://www.legion.org/veteransbenefits/251959/american-legion-building-777-%E2%80%98nucleus-veteran-activity%E2%80%99