Unite Us exists today thanks to veterans. We founded this company because we saw a profound gap in services for military personnel and their families making the transition back to civilian life, trying to navigate a complex service delivery system. No one seemed to have a comprehensive, organized way to help them. Dan and I are both veterans, so our personal experiences helped us understand their frustration trying to access critical services such as employment, housing, and behavioral health. Before launching Unite Us, we spent hours every day making phone calls, searching Google, and using pen and paper to help our brothers and sisters get the support they needed. We identified the need for a solution that could send and track referrals in a comprehensive ecosystem of service providers, connecting all organization types, eliminating the existing silos between health and social service providers.
From that moment of clarity—Unite Us was born.
Unite Us has changed and grown significantly since we began working in 2013 as a team of four in a basement office in New York City. Right now, we are 134 team members strong and growing. We have seven offices and will operate coordinated networks in 30 states by the end of 2019. We expanded outside the veteran population to support any person whose basic needs aren’t being met. Today’s Unite Us is so much more than technology; we empower both social and medical service providers to work together, integrating health and social care in the communities where people need it most. We understand that medical care alone does not equate to wellness; people don’t live in hospitals, they live in communities.
Yet we haven’t lost touch with our roots and the reason we first began this work.
In fact, Unite Us continues to build partnerships in the veteran-serving community, improving existing networks and building new ones. We’re respected and recognized as thought leaders in the field; recently our team members were invited not once, but twice, to the White House to provide comment and information related to the administration's President’s Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide—the PREVENTS Initiative. This executive order focuses on the crisis of veteran suicide in our country and directs $73 billion dollars to the Veterans Administration to provide quality care for veterans, including mental health and suicide prevention services. Unite Us was honored that team members Mary Bier, Georgina Dukes, and Micheline Tocco were invited to participate and share in these critical discussions. It was clear that our team was uniquely positioned to speak about coordinated care, offering scalable, sustainable solutions that connect veterans to services and help them navigate the complex world of medical, social, and behavioral health care.
In addition, in September, Mary Bier, National Director of Military Initiatives at Unite Us, gave testimony at the New York City Council Committee on Veterans. A military spouse herself, Mary is a tireless advocate, driven to change the system on behalf of all veterans. She thanked our partners and funders for their continued support of our very first network, VetConnectNYC, which launched in 2013. We are grateful to the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) for helping Unite Us build those original military-connected networks.
Dan and I are proud of our Unite Us team and the work we do every day to articulate and move towards our vision of one network serving people across the nation. But we are particularly humbled by our origins; we established Unite Us to help the people who risked their lives to protect us all. That’s why more than six years after Unite Us was created, we continue to meet the needs of veterans—never forgetting where we started.
The fact is: whether in the veteran, healthcare, criminal justice, or any other sector, people’s basic needs are the same.
At Unite Us, we envision a world of connected communities that improve people’s health and well-being. We’re continually adapting and adjusting to meet our partners’ needs while remaining committed and invested in the networks that comprise the very foundation of Unite Us.