In 1969, seven returning African American Vietnam combat veterans, who were dissatisfied with the lack of attention to their concerns and needs, united to form the Interested Veterans of the Central City (IVOCC) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The goal of IVOCC was to address the welfare, health, education, employment, rehabilitation and economic development issues of Vietnam veterans as they attempted to adjust back into civilian life in the inner city.
In 1973, IVOCC founding members and concerned African American veterans from other eras gathered in Milwaukee. The name of the organization was changed to the National Association for Black Veterans, Inc. (NABVETS), with the intent to become a national service organization with members nationwide. NABVETS members understood that in order to effectively address the needs of all low-income veterans, the management, administration and technical capability of the organization had to be strengthened.
CVI was developed to fulfill such needs in the mid 1980s by supporting the concerns of all veterans. CVI promotes veterans’ issues through program services design, planning and implementation. Since 1994, CVI has also provided supportive services and housing to homeless veterans in order for them to obtain employment and a decent place to live.