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Closer Look: North Bay Group Helps Vets Get Housing

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(AP)

(AP)

SANTA ROSA (CBS 5) — Next week, a North Bay veterans’ group will begin helping vets and their families with the basic need of housing. But getting a roof over their heads is just the beginning.

The North Bay Veterans’ Resource Center along with the Vietnam Veterans of California has just received $ 1 million grant from the Veterans’ Administration. The grant will help nearly 400 families get stable housing, job training, even gas for their cars.

The purpose is to keep veterans close to the treatment facilities they need.

“It is very important because if we can’t stabilize that vet then we can’t get that vet to the treatment they might need and then ultimately keep them in permanent housing and ultimately get them back into the work force working so that he or she can help his family,” said Don Werstler, Site Director for the North Bay Veterans’ Resource Center.

The nonprofit has four sites in Northern California, including campuses in Sacramento, Santa Rosa, Eureka, and Menlo Park. Low income vets and their families can get help with such combat injuries as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injuries.

Vets and their families can live on campus in transitional housing. This grant will enable families such as James Mcquoid and his wife Faith, along with son little James and service dog Iggy, to transition into more permanent housing.

“We had housing but we move around a lot. Housing specifically was an issue. The VA did help us out with that…For me, it was more in order for me to go to do this treatment that I needed to do, it is an hour away,” said Mcquoid, who served in the Marines. “I couldn’t afford the gas to get back and forth.”

The North Bay Veterans’ Resource Center stepped in to help out Mcquoid and his family with gas money and now a home. The grant is ongoing for the next three years. The nonprofit said the families they intend to help have not been all selected. It is looking for people like James Mcquoid who may need help.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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