Serving a Veteran Community of Over 65 thousand



Chicago is a military town with one of the most diverse veterans community and a rich military history from Navy Pier to Soldier Field. The Mayor's Office of Veterans Affairs (MOVA) is dedicated to building on this history by enhancing services and engaging Chicago's diverse veteran community through increased collaboration with local organizations, academic institutions, and the private sector. MOVA is committed to improving the day-to-day experiences of our 65 thousand veterans and their family members who call Chicago home, including thousands of additional service members currently stationed in the city.

MOVA is supported by the Advisory Council on Veteran Affairs (ACVA), a 21-member council comprising subject matter experts. It is one of five advisory councils to the City of Chicago Commission on Human Relations (CCHR). Council members are appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council. ACVA serves as a vital link between the community and City Government, aiding in policy development and public outreach.

Chicago is also home to numerous Congressionally chartered Veteran Service Organizations (VSOs), some of which originated in the Chicagoland area, such as the Navy Club of USA and Polish Legion of American Veterans. Congressionally chartered VSOs are organizations that have been granted charters by Congress. Among the congressionally chartered VSOs in the Chicagoland area are, National Association of Black Veterans, Disabled American Veterans, VFW, American Legion, Vietnam Veterans of American and many more. Click here to see the full list of Congressionally Chartered VSOs.

Resource Navigation

Chicago and suburban Cook County residents have access to our local 2-1-1 service. 2-1-1 is a free, 24/7/365 service that provides resource navigation and can help individuals search for and locate the right resources according to their needs. 2-1-1 is a go-to resource during times of non-emergency crisis for any essential health, social service support and information and for everyday needs. 2-1-1 provides information on food, housing, utility payment assistance, transportation, health care, employment, mental health and more.

Learn more about 2-1-1 by visiting their website here or dialing 2-1-1 on your phone.

Recreational Activities

The Chicago Park District’s Veterans Program provides access and engagement to veterans and active military personnel in sports, recreation, and leisure. Their program runs all year long and has activities such as Archery, Tennis, Climbing, Co-Ed sports and more!  All Chicago Park District Veterans Programs are FREE of charge with proof of service.

Learn more about the Chicago Parks District’s Veterans Program by clicking here, or contact them at veterans@chicagoparkdistrict.com

Veteran Owned Businesses

The city of Chicago Veteran Business Enterprise (VBE) certification can be awarded to small and local business that are owned and operated by veterans. To take advantage of City of Chicago veterans programs/incentives, including the 5% bid incentive, the veteran-owned business must be VBE certified by the City of Chicago. Currently, the city of Chicago has 109 Veteran Owned Businesses.

Learn more about the VBE certification process by clicking here, or visit https://chicago.mwdbe.com to view all our VBE’s.

The Chicago Park District hosted the 11th Annual Valor Games Midwest in August of this year. Valor Games Midwest is a three-day Paralympic sports competition for disabled veterans and wounded, ill, or injured service members. It serves as an introductory competition where athletes compete in various events such as discus, shot put, cycling, archery, powerlifting, indoor rowing, biathlon, and more.

As part of Valor Games Midwest, the Chicago Park District organized a Resource Fair at Soldier Field, featuring resources and information from over 30 organizations and agencies specializing in military-specific assistance. These services encompass areas such as education, employment, housing, legal support, disabilities, mental health, and family services. Below, you can find some photos from the event.


News & Announcements

July 10, 2024 - Each quarter the Mayors Office of Veterans Affairs publishes a Newsletter highlighting our amazing community. View the full newsletter here.

June 12, 2024 - The Mayor and members of the Chicago City Council declared June 12th, 2024, as Women's Veterans Day in the City of Chicago. This date commemorates June 12, 1948, when women were officially recognized as regular members of the United States Military. Read the full resolution here.

May 15, 2024 - The Mayor's Office of Veterans Affairs (MOVA) collaborates with federal, state, county, and local city departments to develop strategies for enhancing prosperity within the veteran community. This guide provides information on how to access various services and resources. View the full resource guide.

April 17, 2024 - Chicago City Council unanimously approved a municipal code amendment establishing a Veterans' hiring preference across all city departments. This amendment expands the current preference to all job categories within the city of Chicago, ensuring that veterans receive preference in the selection process for employment opportunities. Click here to View The Press Release.

April 17, 2024 - Chicago City Council approved a landmark municipal code amendment sponsored by Alderman Gilbert Villegas, paving the way for the establishment of veterans' preference in affordable housing units. This groundbreaking amendment mandates that various developers across Chicago grant preference to veterans for a minimum of 10% of the affordable units required under the City's Affordable Requirements Ordinance, whether provided on-site or off-site. Click Here to View the Full Press Release.

Mar 29, 2024 - Our nation owes a great debt to those men, women, and family members who have sacrificed much for our nation’s freedom. NOW, THEREFORE I, BRANDON JOHNSON, MAYOR OF THE CITY OF CHICAGO, do hereby proclaim March 29, 2024 as National Vietnam War Veterans Day in the City of Chicago and encourage all Chicagoans to honor and remember those who served in our county during the War in Vietnam. Click here to View Proclamation.

Mar 27, 2024 - Mayor Brandon Johnson, alongside the Department of Fleet and Facilities Management (2FM), and Kevin Barszcz, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Veterans Affairs (MOVA) announced the restoration of the Chicago Remembers Vietnam Veterans Memorial after years of deferred maintenance. Click here to view the full press release.

Mar 14, 2024 - The City of Chicago proudly announces a major partnership with Veteran Business Project (VBP), marking a major milestone in the city’s continued commitment to empower veterans and stimulate economic growth. This initiative aims to assist local veterans in becoming Veteran Business Enterprise (VBE) certified so they can take advantage of the City of Chicago veteran programs and incentives. Click here to learn more

Mar 7, 2024 - Mayor Brandon Johnson, accompanied by senior staff from the Mayor's Office of Veterans Affairs and DFSS, visited the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center to directly engage with our veteran community and staff members.  The aim of the visit was twofold: to assess the advancements made in the Ending Veterans Homelessness Initiative and to forge connections with veterans who have experienced positive outcomes from the program. - View Photos

Mayor's Office of Veterans Affairs
121 N La Salle St.
Chicago, IL 60602

Kevin Barszcz
Director of Veterans Affairs
US Navy Veteran