Celebrating Community Partnership: NEOPAT Honors United Way of Greater Cleveland

Celebrating Community Partnership: NEOPAT Honors United Way of Greater Cleveland

Independence (March, 2024)

NEOPAT is honored to recognize United Way of Greater Cleveland as our community partner of the year.

U.S. Army Sergeant Alex Cohen attended NEOPAT’s annual gala to accept the award on behalf of United Way. Alex’s work as the United Way 211 Help2Veterans Community-Based Navigator provides critical support for military members and their families through a vast array of resources in the community.

“Alex and the United Way 211 Help2Veterans program demonstrates the team effort taking place to enhance our community’s veteran support network and the success that NEOPAT and our partners are achieving through collaboration,” said Greg Renkas, NEOPAT executive director. “This initiative is a great example of our mission to Keep the Promise to our nation’s heroes and support them however possible in their time of need.”

Created in 2013, the Help2Veterans program provides referrals for services in Cuyahoga and Geauga counties, including employment, food, housing, utilities, counseling needs, family support, legal issues, veterans’ administration and other benefits, tax preparation, and more. In 2023, Alex worked to assist almost 3,900 veterans through the program.

Alex’s tireless work ethic and ability to connect with veterans are a key to the program’s success, according to Franco Formichelli, Director of United Way 211.

“United Way is honored by this recognition and very proud of Alex, who is relentless in his pursuit to help veterans find what they need and great at building relationships with the agencies dedicated to supporting veterans,” Franco said. “He consistently goes above and beyond in his work at United Way 211; for example, he visits Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry’s Men’s Shelter on Lakeside Avenue every week to learn new skills and techniques that allow him to continue to successfully work with and help those veterans who are experiencing homelessness.”

Alex’s firsthand experience in the military allows him to create a more personalized conversation with those reaching out for support. “I love my work at United Way 211 and being able to make a positive impact in the lives of veterans,” Alex said. “Sometimes, it is as simple as being there, so they know someone is listening.”