Upstate Warrior Solution (UWS) is a community-based, not-for-profit organization that generates quality of life solutions for Upstate veterans, active duty, National Guard, and Reserve warriors and their families. UWS services span the following counties in the Upstate: Greenville, Spartanburg, Anderson, Oconee, and Pickens.
The UWS model is centralized around face-to-face outreach to the warrior community and service lines include Mentorship, Healthcare and Benefits, Education and Training, Housing, and Employment. The model does not facilitate handouts but dictates the warrior walk alongside his or her peer mentor, program manager, or social worker in a team environment to generate goals and an actionable solution. UWS adheres to the Four Step Plan of Community Integration for serving the warrior community:
Who We Are
The seed for Upstate Warrior Solution (UWS) was planted in 2010 when a group of concerned veterans and nonveteran community leaders came together to form a strategic planning team to discuss the availability of services for returning veterans in the Upstate. The team agreed: although vigorous community wellness infrastructures encompassed many of the Upstate’s more populated cities, such as Greenville and Spartanburg, scarcely any of these structures were warrior-centric. Further, they identified significant gaps in services and no visible mechanisms for service coordination for warriors, especially in the Upstate’s rural areas. After scrutinizing many platforms, UWS leadership determined a community integration model would be most beneficial for our warriors and our community.
Key Needs Assessment Findings:
1. The five counties in the UWS target area (Anderson, Greenville, Pickens, Spartanburg, Oconee) boast a population of more 100,000 veterans, as well as several National Guard and Reserve units, all of whom lack critical support infrastructure for returning warriors
2. Lack of visible veteran specialized services in the UWS service area
3. Services available are not well coordinated, integrated, or advertised
4. Large numbers of Justice-Involved Veterans as reported by the Greenville County Detention Center. Since 2012, there have been 5,462 veteran incarcerations (Greenville, Spartanburg, and Anderson capture data)
5. Correlation between military trauma disorders, readjustment issues, and adverse outcomes in warriors lives
6. Severe lack of awareness and education on veteran readjustment issues in the surrounding community
UWS is growing. However, its ‘model’ has always been and will continue to facilitate personal interactions between UWS staff and volunteers, most of whom are combat veterans, and the warriors within our community. A variety of support services are coordinated through three primary programs: Outreach and Case Coordination, Fellowship Academy, and Community Engagement.
UWS received its incorporation in 2012 through the South Carolina Secretary of State’s office and was formally recognized as a 501(c)3 organization in 2013. To better meet demand and increase the capacity to serve warriors across the Upstate, UWS has three office locations in Greenville, Clemson, and Spartanburg.