I was David Gilbeau's case manager and this man would not follow the rules. He talks about drug and alcohol use because he was using and selling to other clients and when discovered, he was asked to leave the program! He is angry and revengeful because Veterans First would not allow him to continue his illegal activities. I worked there for over 5 years and I can tell you that this agency operates with compassion and understanding. They help veterans get employment, benefits and housing. I would still be there if my wife didn't want to move back East...I loved worked there with the staff and especially the veterans!
Review from Guidestar
Horrible. Staff and residents engage in illegal drug activity (dealers and users). Staff allow residents to use and sell. violence against residents, poor care, unsanitary conditions. residents that complain are retaliated against by staff and other residents (staff will ratt them out). Local police and government are in line with management and CEO to protect the organization over residents safety and health. A powerful group of folks with plenty of protection on the local, state and federal level. My friend and I both had to leave for our own protection and safety after assaults and threats from staff and residents following requests to resolve illegal drug activity (staff using and selling to residents - residents usinng and selling to residents).
I was on the edge of becoming homeless. I sold my car the year before to help pay for two months of rent. For the first three months of 2014 I was stressed out every day, trying to find a way to pay my monthly rent. I knew Vets First served lunch at their Santa Ana Blvd. location. Being a veteran, I had no Idea they provided so many great services.
Karen was so passionate, and extremely helpful. I asked the staff about rental assistance, and to my amazement they scheduled me an appointment with Cruz. Within two weeks he helped me with long term housing and prepared meals.
Wow! I can now focus on fulltime employment, and becoming independent once again.
The best non-profit I have ever seen!! They are truly passion focused!
Michael K. - Santa Ana, CA.
I don't know who luv4vets is but I can only imagine it is someone that we asked not to return as a volunteer and is very bitter. Veterans First and our staff are a wonderful group of people of which 90% are veterans providing incredible care to homeless, disabled and returning veterans and their families. The slanderous lies that luv4vets wrote about saying that Deanne Tate was fired in 2000 for mismanagement is an absolute lie. Go to the Santa Ana courthouse and pull the records where you will find that she was falsely accused and won an out of court settlement for wrongful termination. The only family working there is her son that has earned his place and receives kudos from other service providers about the wonderful job he is doing. As for her yelling this is the biggest falsehood of all...Deanne works in a private office and seldom ventures out to the other parts of the agency. Any conversations with staff is done behind closed doors and yelling is not part of it. It is very sad that a person using the name luv4vets would write such ugly things about such a terrific agency.
The Santa Ana Police Foundation had a need for immediate help to assist a homeless veteran that was the victim of a crime in our city. Quickly it became apparent that significant professional assistance was required. Veterans' First immediately stepped up and was a significant partner in making efforts to assist this troubled gentleman. Deann Tate was available to us at any time, and Her staff was professional and helped us make tough decisions. This organization is top-notch, and we unequivocally endorse your support of them.
Veterans First is very organized and keeps you updated on all information needed to volunteer for their events and other health, support, career assistance and family services they offer to Veterans.
I was very proud to be of service to those Veterans who have served our country and look forward to any assistance I can provide to those dedicated to our Veterans.
The appreciation from our Veterans that attended was an unforgetable experience and worth every minute being apart of this opportunity that I would have not been able to be a part of without the continued efforts Veterans First.
In my official capacity of Commander of UMAVA (a veterans organization), I have been closely involved with Veterans First of OC both as a Volunteer and as an Advisor for several years. Veterans First is an organization managed by very passionate, dedicated and talented individuals. Unfortunately, theirs is a very necessary and critical service in bringing services directly to veterans, or in bringing itself to the homeless veterans that may not trust the system. No other agency or organization can match Veteran First in its life-changing impact: from identifying the homeless veterans or the veterans with families and at-immediate-risk-of-homelessness, assessing their needs, and responding to those needs immediately. Veterans First is also unique in having a proven program in place to address the immediate emergency, and then to In-process the veteran to self-sustainability and long-term success. Veterans First has a a multiplier effect with every dollar invested, and more could be done, But the lack of financial resources is still a challenge.
I am a former Board member for Veterans First, and I have been providing pro-bono Paralegal services to the Veterans First clients since 2004. Without exception, the Officers and Staff of Veterans First have always impressed me with their professionalism, dedication, and heartfelt empathy for the plight of Orange County's homeless Veterans, I have been proud and more than happy to make my contribution to the success of Veterans First, like all of us I owe a debt to those who put their lives on the line for my safety and security which can never be totally repaid.