Illinois Joining Forces

Overview and mission

Illinois Joining Forces (IJF) is a public-private network of veteran and military-serving organizations that collaborate to help service members, veterans and their families navigate the range of support services available to them.

IJF aggregates, and makes easily searchable, information on all military and veteran resources in the state. Participating community organizations are grouped into one of nine categories--behavioral health,  education, legal support, children and families, benefits and emergency assistance, housing and homelessness, employment and job training, and women veterans—and coordinate their efforts to more effectively serve their constituents.  

“Our greatest impact is providing increased access and navigability of services and supports.  Many Veterans, having given up on the complex fragmentation of services, have found the care they needed through Illinois Joining Forces.”

Tom Miller, Chair, IJF Board of Directors

GPD Support
GPD provided $140,000 to help launch IJF, which is now recognized as a leading model for delivering critical resources, information and support services in coordinated way across community organizations and across sectors.

IJF’s guiding principles are to close the gap of available resources by improving communication and collaboration between military, government and community partners, develop solution-based working groups to overcome obstacles in delivering quality services, and provide solutions to policy makers for addressing inefficiencies and redundancies.

“There are currently over 45,000 private not-for-profit veteran serving organizations (VSOs) around the United States, each with its own mission and approach. They rarely collaborate and very often are competing for the same funding resources to assist the same veterans.  Illinois Joining Forces seeks to bridge the gap between the VSO’s, the veterans they serve, and the State of Illinois Veteran’s Administration."
John DeBlasio - Founder of GPD Charitable Trust