Information and Transparency
WEAVE (Web-based Analysis and Visualization Environment) is a collaboration between UMass Lowell, the Open Indicators Consortium and the Massachusetts Department of Veteran Services. For our purposes, WEAVE takes data from our state veteran benefit tracking system (VSMIS) and visually displays how cities and towns are performing in terms of delivering benefits to our low-income veterans. It's a great comparison tool.
This site allows you to interact with WEAVE town-by-town.
Why is this important?
Few people know about Chapter 115, the Massachusetts General Law that requires that cities and towns employ a Veteran Service Officer and provide necessary benefits for veterans living under 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. In exchange for providing this benefit, cities and towns are reimbursed 75% of their expenditures if delivered benefits follow Massachusetts Code of Regulations 108.
Benefits are only as good as the delivery mechanisms and outreach messages that support them. If few people know about Chapter 115, that means many of our low-income veterans and their dependents are going without life changing dollars that can improve quality of life. Visualization platforms like WEAVE help our outreach efforts. And you do too. If you know a veteran or veteran family member in need, call us immediately.
Our district believes in transparency. Not only do we want to deliver benefits well, we want to deliver them fairly and to the broadest veteran population possible. To ensure this goal, we publish our data almost monthly and post complaint procedures on all of our city/town pages. We welcome suggestions and we applaud the WEAVE initiative as it allows Massachusetts residents to see where their tax money is allocated and how.
We are interested in your comments about this WEAVE map and welcome any and all suggestions about how to turn this data into effective local services for our deserving veteran populations.