Veterans First provides housing and essential services for Orange County’s homeless and at-risk veterans as well as services for families of at-risk vets and deployed military members.
Veterans First currently operates 10 permanent and transitional housing facilities at a capacity of 122 total beds for employable and disabled veterans within 3 Northern Orange County cities (Anaheim, Garden Grove and Santa Ana). Each home is staffed 24/7 with a house manager that can assist our clients with making sure that they are working towards a successful completion of our program. Each house is also staffed with a cook that provides nutritious meals to our clients. Additionally, Veterans First in the summer of 2011 began operating the county’s only transitional housing facility for unaccompanied homeless female veterans.
Along with housing, Veterans First is able to provide essential services through its service center located in Santa Ana. The service center is the first stop for homeless interested in coming into our program for housing or for those at-risk veterans and their families who are in need of basic services or needs to get them through. Currently, our service center is open Monday – Friday from 9:00am – 5:00pm.
We are able to provide case management with a dedicated staff that can assess and anticipate in terms of housing and services what a veteran’s needs will be. Whether that is counseling, life skills, aid with receiving benefits through the VA or Cal-Vet, food, education, or employment training and job placement assistance.
Through partnerships with regional educational institutions such as the University of Southern California (USC) and California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) along with the County of Orange’s Mental Health Authority (MHA), Veterans First can provide our clients with much needed mental health and substance abuse counseling.
Veterans First has a strong working relationship with the County of Orange’s Veterans Service Office, California Department of Veterans Affairs (Cal-Vet) as well as the VA San Diego, which administers the benefits claims for the Orange County area in order to ensure that our clients get the proper ratings and benefits entitled to them from their time in service.
Our service center is also the hub for aiding our area’s employable veterans with work. We have a dedicated Employment Director and career center on premises to assist veterans with employment training, resume formatting, interview skills and employment counseling. Our career center features a large network of computers for job search as well as boards with current opportunities available for those in need of work.
Additionally, twice a week Veterans First is proud to provide food boxes for those veterans and their families who may be at-risk of homelessness or to the families of deployed military members who are struggling to make ends meet while their husband or wife is abroad defending our freedoms.