Mt. Carmel Veterans Service Center - mental health session

Daniel Sanchez Mannes, center, talks out a scenario with fellow veterans during a peer support class at Mt. Carmel Veterans Service Center in Colorado Springs, Tuesday, May 7, 2019.

Mt. Carmel Veterans Service Center is doubling every dollar invested in the nonprofit, an independent study by the National Institute for Social Impact recently found.

The Colorado Springs-based charity, which was founded in 2016 and has served more than 34,000 veterans, is returning each donated dollar back into the community as two dollars.

The metric is called social return on investment and is the measurement of the value of efforts an organization makes to alleviate a social, environmental or community issue.

“The social return on investment metric helps non-profit and for-profit entities and their funders clearly articulate their social impact using the language of dollars and cents,” said Stacey Burns, National Institute for Social Impact founder and vice president. “Similar to a traditional return on investment calculation, depicting the gain generated on a business investment, social return on investment quantifies an organization’s contributions toward strengthening its community.”

Mt. Carmel works with community partners to provide programs and services in three areas: transition and employment services, connection to community resources, and behavioral health and wellness support.

The study can be found at veteranscenter.org/sroi, and information about social return on investment is available at ni4si.org.

The study shows Mt. Carmel Veterans Service Center returned $2,266,309 of value to the community, establishing $1,521,277 in economic impact, $583,858 in human services and $161,224 in taxpayer savings, according to 2019-2020 fiscal data.

The social return to the community resulted in significant increases in veterans finding jobs along with reducing unemployment and employment turnover, according to a Mt. Carmel Veterans Service Center press release.

Mt. Carmel has provided an increase in veteran and family resources including in behavioral health, wellness support and treatment, according to the release.

The organization continues its efforts to reduce homelessness, veteran arrests and incarcerations.

“We’re extremely proud of the progress our team and community partners are making in the communities that Mt. Carmel serves,” said Bob McLaughlin, chief operating officer and a retired colonel. “To think that we’ve been able to double the generous investment our community partners have made over this last year astounds me. My team is very proud that our efforts are making a difference in our community and the lives of the veterans and military families we proudly support every day.”

Mental health care for veterans, including those around Colorado Springs, remains a troubled endeavor | Special Report
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