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2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Veterans First

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Homeless & Housing, Homeless Centers, Homeless Shelters, Human Services, Military & Veterans Organizations, Veterans

Mission: Veterans First is the only social service agency exclusively dedicated to ending homelessness among veterans, who, according to Department of Housing and Urban Development Statistics, comprise 38% of the Homeless Population. Veterans First has a sheltered workshop that exclusively employs both homeless and disabled veterans. We also provide clothing, food boxes and serve nourishing hot meals daily, year round. The homeless men and women we support suffer from physical, mental, emotional and/or post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which is sometimes manifested through drug or alcohol addiction. We offer a comprehensive program based on a traditional work ethic that is dedicated to end homelessness for those who have decided to change their lives. Veteran by veteran we are removing the homeless from the streets, eliminating their hunger and providing transitional housing in a home environment. Veterans First also provides the veterans with both employment and job training. Our five-year goal is to reduce to less than ten percent, the number of homeless veterans in Orange County, California.

Programs: To provide food, clothing, transportation, training and housing or housing reimbursements to disabled veterans.

Community Stories

2 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Rating: 5

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.

Guy J.


Rating: 5

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.