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If you’re familiar with military time, you know that “zero8hundred” refers to eight o’clock in the morning, a time when those on a military base pause to salute the flag, signaling the start of a new day, a new chapter, and the opportunity to seize whatever lies ahead. 

Aptly named, zero8hundred, a fiscally sponsored project of Mission Edge, helps transitioning veterans start a new chapter in their lives with confidence, courage, and resources for success in the civilian sector.

Currently, the organization works with United States Navy, Marine, and Coast Guard veterans. The zero8hundred program is presented in mandatory on-base transition classes and transitioning service members can enroll for personalized support up to nine months before leaving the service, with services continuing for 12 months after separation. zero8hundred acts as a resource hub, connecting its clients (called VIPs) to best-fit resources offering support in several areas that contribute to overall self-sufficiency: employment/education, physical/mental health, personal connections and basic needs. Their certified social workers or Masters of Social Work interns act as “peer navigators” to guide transitioning vets toward the resources, programs and opportunities they need to succeed. Additionally, all navigators have lived military experience as veterans or military spouses or dependents, and recognize the importance of developing personal relationships with clients to provide individual, customized guidance.

In just over two years of existence, zero8hundred has blown their organizational goals out of the water. They have seen over 16,000 unique visitors to their online resource portal (they initially projected approximately 500 per year), and have provided personalized transition support to over 1,600 veterans and their families – far more than their original goal of 300 over two years.

Fiscal sponsorship from Mission Edge provides operational assistance, including finance and human resources support and allows the zero8hundred staff to focus on their mission, while Mission Edge provides a stable infrastructure for:

  • HR compliance
  • Hiring
  • Payroll
  • Employee transitions
  • Expansion support
  • Performance reviews & merit increases
  • Employee relations coaching
  • Grant reporting assistance
  • Financial reporting

“Thanks to the support we’ve received from Mission Edge, we’ve been able to run a very lean organization with minimal administrative costs,” said Sean Mahoney, Executive Director of zero8hundred. “This means 100 percent focus on our mission, which allowed us to exceed all of our organizational goals.”

zero8hundred was granted an unprecedented Memorandum of Understanding with the U.S. Navy, which allows access to thousands of transitioning military members in on-base classes each year. Agreements with the Marine Corps and Coast Guard followed.

“Our relationship with Mission Edge helped us highlight our broad community roots, and improved our ability to build strong partnerships, such as our Memorandum of Understanding with the US Navy,” added Mahoney. “This agreement, coupled with our highly trained Peer Navigators, are critical to our organizational success.”

There’s no end in sight to what this organization will accomplish. They recently expanded into Orange County, and continue to explore supporting additional military branches and geographic areas.

To learn more about zero8hundred, visit their website at http://www.zero8hundred.org

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