The YANA Houston Chapter’s October meeting featured Cress Clippard, Chair of the Board’s Volunteering and Collaboration Committee, and Bryan Escobedo, Operations Manager, of Combined Arms. Both Marine combat veterans who navigated their own reentry into civilian life, they bring their own experiences to the nonprofit world with an impressive focus and determination to serve their clients efficiently and compassionately.
Combined Arms is an umbrella organization that includes almost 60 best-in-class separate veterans service organizations offering hundreds of resources. The organization originally formed to bring together and help coordinate the vast number of widespread service delivery organizations that most veterans had a difficult time discovering and accessing. With the help of key funders and partners, Combined Arms has refined its model and service delivery process based on rigorous data collection, collaboration, and careful analysis of their clients’ needs. They pride themselves on offering a single point of entry for veterans in the Houston area through an integrated technology platform, allowing veterans and their families to complete the intake assessment from anywhere in the world, with a guaranteed response within 96 hours. In a shared workspace in EADO, they serve as a hub for the veteran community and the organizations that serve them. They even offer a full-service gym on-site!
Combined Arms currently serves 5,200 clients, most of whom, they have learned, are in their 30s with children. The Houston area contains the second-largest veteran population in the United States, approximately 300,000 people. Combined Arms wants to reach all of them who need help or want to take advantage of the many recreational, volunteer and support opportunities their network of organizations offer. They not only want to help coordinate and provide critical needs services related to physical and mental health, housing, and basic employment, they want their fellow veterans to thrive in the community as leaders and fully-flourishing citizens.
Combined Arms is always looking for partner organizations, project management, and communications experts, veterans to both avail themselves of and help deliver needed services, and civilians for volunteer projects and donations.