East County News Service
February 19, 2015 (San Diego)—Supervisor Bill Horn, Chairman of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, declared 2015 the “year of the veteran” in his state of the county speech last week.
Horn said, “These men and women have made sacrifices that often take terrible tolls on their personal lives. As a county and as a community, we have a responsibility to take care of our veterans.”
An ex-Marine Corps officer and veteran, Horn said programs will be ramped up and new programs rolled out in the coming year. One is the Vet Connect program being rolled out East County libraries, prompted by an East County Magazine special report that found a lack of veterans’ services in rural areas.
A partnership between the county government and cities in the region aims to end homelessness among veterans as well as chronic homelessness. Horn called the actions a “street level effort to connect the homeless with prevention services and permanent housing, health care, jobs and supportive services.”
Another addition will be a new Veterans Resource Center to open at the North Inland Family Resource Center in Escondido, designed as a one-stop shop for veterans to access programs and services from 15 organizations, such as counseling and legal aid. In addition, a memory care unit will be added at the Chula Vista Veterans Home of California.
These programs will impact a huge sector of the population locally. Over one-third of all people in San Diego County are active duty military or veterans and their families. East County has the highest percentage of veterans in our region.