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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


Client Served

Rating: 1

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).

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.