“To be able to transform our community by empowering our nation’s brave veterans to lead lives of dignity and self-determination is a vocation that is at the core of Catholic Charities. After serving with our military for 20 years, I couldn’t ask for anything better than the privilege of serving them,” said Verzola.
Experience and Expertise Fit Agency’s Commitment to Military Veterans
KANSAS CITY, MO, February 10, 2014 — Catholic Charities of Kansas City-St. Joseph announced today that Eric Verzola has joined the agency as Director of Veterans’ Services. Verzola is a retired United States Army Major who brings 20 years of military experience, leadership and communications expertise to Catholic Charities. He is a West Point graduate, instructor and public relations officer whose military service includes combat duty in Iraq.
Verzola joins Catholic Charities as the agency prepares to open the first phase of St. Michael’s Veterans Center, the innovative campus that combines permanent, affordable housing with long-term supportive services for homeless and at-risk veterans. He will also oversee the agency’s Supportive Services for Veteran Families program, which assists veterans and their families who are in need of help obtaining or maintaining permanent housing.
“I have been blessed with the honor of serving others as the Director of Veteran’s Services with Catholic Charities of Kansas City-St. Joseph,” Verzola said. “To be able to transform our community by empowering our nation’s brave veterans to lead lives of dignity and self-determination is a vocation that is at the core of Catholic Charities. After serving with our military for 20 years, I couldn’t ask for anything better than the privilege of serving them.”
Verzola’s military and leadership experience makes him uniquely qualified to lead Catholic Charities’ efforts to assist veterans with housing, employment and social service needs. As a West Point professor, he taught more than 2,000 cadets about personal health and welfare to prepare them for duty with increased confidence and motivation. As a battery commander at Fort Still, Oklahoma, Verzola oversaw the training and welfare of military personnel and their families and implemented an innovative family support program. As a public relations officer and Subject Matter Expert, he deployed worldwide to coach and mentor U.S. Army senior leaders.
“Catholic Charities works with veterans every day to help them move toward self-sufficiency,” said Catholic Charities CEO Deacon Dan Powers. “The addition of Eric Verzola, a veteran himself, allows us to understand their needs even better and to meet veterans where they are now and serve them. Eric has the dedication of a soldier and the heart of Catholic Charities.”
Catholic Charities’ SSVF program currently provides services to nearly 100 veterans. Phase one of the St. Michael’s Veterans Center will provide housing and supportive services for 58 veterans when it opens later this year; it will ultimately provide housing for up to 188 veterans. Both programs, under the leadership of Eric Verzola, are part of the agency’s lasting commitment to the men and women who serve our nation.
About Catholic Charities of Kansas City-St. Joseph
Founded in 1879, Catholic Charities of Kansas City-St. Joseph is a nationally accredited, non-profit agency dedicated to human services across Central and Western Missouri. Inspired by the Gospel mandate, Catholic Charities transforms lives and communities through hope-filled care, services and advocacy. Annually, the agency assists more than 150,000 people of all faiths, ages, ethnicities and economic backgrounds.