Leading Veteran Rescue Org. Charges Back Into Full Operation on Memorial Day

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Re-launch of veteran programs, media campaign with Dodgers legend Vin Scully

Vin Scully Veteran

Vin Scully - Gold Coast Veterans Foundation

We've found the solution to ending veteran homelessness in our country.... Veterans' Village!"

Ventura County will hear a very familiar voice starting this week. Legendary Dodgers announcer Vin Scully is narrating a series of radio PSA’s for Gold Coast Veterans Foundation. The region’s leading veteran nonprofit, GCVF became famous for rescuing the most difficult and damaged veterans that others had written off. Staying open to rescue veterans when other agencies closed, GCVF made headlines by accelerating through the pandemic without any virus infections or transmissions. Scully, a WWII Navy veteran, embraces GCVF’s transformative approach; a comprehensive model of care with equal parts housing, healing, and supportive services.

When the pandemic struck, GCVF postponed several programs to focus all resources on its new Mobile Veteran Outreach. MVO is a hands-on intervention that rescues veterans who are homeless or at immediate risk of becoming homeless. GCVF’s Executive Director Bob Harris couldn’t bring himself to close the office, saying; “We knew that veterans on the street had numerous risk factors… getting them out of harm’s way would save their lives and probably hundreds of others. When the chips were down on the front lines of this battle, we had the support of Ventura County’s CEO Mike Powers, his two homeless program directors Tara Carruth and Jennifer Harkey, and the support of United Way’s homeless program director Amy Duganne. When the smoke cleared, 87 homeless or high-risk veterans in Ventura County had been engaged into care and placed in COVID-safe emergency housing by this partnership.”

The lives they saved, and the story of a small charity that accelerated right through a pandemic, didn’t go unnoticed. Major news coverage from CBS and ABC TV, feature interviews on NPR radio and local cable TV, and front page newspaper stories all happened in March/April of this year.

Now that California is emerging from the pandemic, the agency isn’t wasting any time charging forward to re-launch the postponed programs. A partnership between GCVF and Healing in America had made highly effective peer counseling available to veterans, healing the emotional wounds that otherwise cause a lifetime of suffering. Other programs like Veteran Employment Services, Licensed Financial Coaching, and Veteran Business Entrepreneurship had been launched to strengthen veterans’ security and self-sufficiency. Harris is excited that he is now able to put those programs back in operation, explaining; “Financial security is one of the primary things that de-rail a veteran’s life; keeping their finances strong - preventing money from getting out of control - halts the sequence of events that results in homelessness… these programs stop that downward spiral before it happens.”

To celebrate their success despite a pandemic, and the re-launch of the programs that were put on hold, GCVF has launched a media campaign to increase public awareness of its programs. The 93 year old Scully, whose beloved voice still resonates powerfully, will be heard on KHAY, KBBY, KVEN FM radio, KEIB AM 1150, and CBS Sports AM 1450 Radio. Harris adds; ”Memorial Day is the perfect time to re-launch programs that prevent suffering for veterans. I know in my heart that the Americans who gave their lives for this country would thank us for remembering them, and they would tell us without hesitation that doing right by today’s veterans is the very best way to honor their sacrifice.”

About Gold Coast Veterans Foundation – The leading non-profit serving veterans in Ventura County, GCVF provides everything to prevent and eliminate suffering, homelessness, and poor health/life outcomes for American veterans. GCVF remained open as an ‘essential service’, providing critical services and/or rescuing 87 veterans from homelessness during Covid-19. All services are free of charge. http://www.gcvf.org (805) 482-6550

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