Veterans Village of San Diego Event


VVSD Veterans Winter Shelter Served 361 Homeless Vets Helped Scores Find Housing and Treatment Services

SAN DIEGO-Veterans Village of San Diego (VVSD) just completed another successful year operating the Veterans Winter Shelter, serving 361 veterans, the majority of them chronically homeless, during its four months of operation between  December 8, 2010 and April 7, 2011.

“I am very thankful that this shelter was here. It’s a blessing,” Navy veteran, Russell Santomenna, said. “I was a regular at the shelter the past four winters. With VVSD’s help, I will be sharing an apartment with another veteran and I am determined to not come back to next year’s shelter.”

Homeless veterans enjoying a hot meal at the winter shelter.

His story is not unique. With their basic needs for food, shelter and clothing taken care, many homeless vets took advantage of the safe and supportive environment at the shelter to begin taking the first steps to turn their lives around.

This year, VVSD placed 46 homeless veterans into transitional or permanent housing and 26 entered inpatient drug/alcohol treatment programs.

Equipped with 150 bunk beds, showers and toilets, the shelter was much more than a roof over the head for veterans in need. It was a powerful outreach tool to transform lives. In addition to three meals a day, clothes and other necessities, shelter residents received a wide range of social services to help them rebuild their lives.

The winter shelter program is funded by the City of San Diego and private donations raised by VVSD. VVSD has to raise at least $60,000 each year to cover costs that are not covered by the city.

For each of the past 14 years, VVSD has run the program to offer a safe and warm haven to veterans living on the streets during the coldest months of the year.

About Veterans Village of San Diego: VVSD is a nationally-recognized nonprofit organization that specializes in prevention, intervention, treatment and employment services for military veterans, including those who have recently returned from Iraq and Afghanistan. Founded in 1981 by Vietnam Veterans, VVSD has five locations throughout San Diego County and serves more than 2,000 veterans each year. For more information, visit



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