New Offices Virtual Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

Virtual Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony for New Offices
Posted on 05/19/2020

Soon Manatee County Veterans Services will have a new home for its six-person team which serves Veterans and their dependents by assisting them with obtaining Veterans Affairs benefits and related resources.


Beginning in June, Veterans Services, a part of Manatee County’s Neighborhood Services Department, will be moving to a recently renovated one-story facility in downtown Bradenton located at 305 15th St W., 34205. The offices are currently located a few blocks away in the Manatee County Administrative building.


The new offices will provide easier access for community Veterans who reside in Manatee County, especially those with physical limitations. Veterans Services counselors provide one-on-one meetings with Veterans to help them navigate through what is often a complicated benefits process.


The one-story, ADA-compliant facility will include private meeting areas, conference rooms and on-site parking, including disabled and Purple Heart parking spaces. The facility also will provide a place for the team members to conduct Annual Benefits Seminars, which are normally held during April and provide a summary of VA Disability Compensation, Low-Income & Long-Term Pensions, Burial Benefits and Local VA Healthcare.


Lee Washington, County Veterans Services Officer, hopes the new office location will help reach more of the 40,000 Veterans who live in Manatee County. Currently, an average of 14,000 residents a year contact the division for assistance, with only about 10,000 Veterans and 5,000 surviving dependents have filed claims.


“We are excited for this move, as it has been a longtime coming and should help us serve a heavier volume of Veterans and survivors who are in great need of these services. We want to thank County administration, Board of County Commissioners and a special thank you to the Property Management Department staff for making this a reality,” said Washington.


A short virtual ribbon-cutting ceremony, which is planned to be shown as a Facebook Live event, is scheduled to take place outside of the offices on Friday, May 29, from 12:30 to 1:30 PM. Veterans Services has invited the Board of County Commissioners to participate and Commissioner Reggie Bellamy (District 2) and a few Manatee County employees—all of whom are Veterans—to speak. The County will continue to adhere to COVID-19 social distancing guidelines.


Ava Ehde, Neighborhood Services Department Director, said a Grand Opening of the new facility also is in the works.


“We look forward to a future on-site celebration where we can celebrate our amazing Veterans in person and hope to determine a date soon,” said Ehde.


Go to Facebook virtual ribbon-cutting ceremony event.


If you are a Veteran or know a Manatee Veteran or dependent or survivor, he/she can connect by calling (941) 749-3030. There is no fee or cost for services or the submission of a claim for VA benefits, as this has been paid in full by having served in the military.

In addition to the downtown location, Veterans Services also has an Ellenton location at 5030 US Hwy 301 N.
Ellenton, FL 34222, and plans to expand its hours of operations from two days a week to daily, 9 AM to 4 PM, by appointment.


For media inquiries, contact Kelly Foster, Neighborhood Services Department Marketing & Public Relations.

About Manatee County Neighborhood Services Department: Neighborhood Services provides a wide range of services focused on enhancing the overall quality of life for Manatee County residents. Through Health, Children’s, Aging, Veterans, Libraries, Probation and Fee-Assistance Services and Programs, the Neighborhood Services Department works to inform and connect residents to valuable resources. For more information, call (941) 749-4501, visit the Website and follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @manateeneighbor, and follow Veterans Services on its Facebook page. For more information about Manatee County Government, call 941-748-4501 and follow on Facebook and Twitter.