Here’s My Plan to Improve Veterans Services in San Diego—Right Away

David Greco speaking with a homeless veteran in Balboa Park

It’s something that many San Diegans see in their day-to-day life:

Homeless veterans on the streets.

Less than a year ago, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported that the number of homeless veterans in the city had risen 24% (alongside an increase nationwide). Even though our city was working to provide more shelter and housing.

What other steps can San Diego take to improve veterans’ lives?

One day, I met a homeless veteran in Balboa Park, and I asked what challenges he was up against.

His biggest worry?

Finding a place to charge his phone so he could apply for jobs and get phone calls about job interviews.

Sounds so simple.

When you don’t have a home, it’s not.

But it is so simple that the government should help.

At that moment, hearing his reply, that’s when it hit me:

There must be 4 or 5 steps the city could take—immediately—to fix this cell-phone-charging problem.

There must be many more ways the government can help all veterans find jobs—and make their lives better.

That’s why I propose a Veterans Resource Network (VRN)—an online, ever-expanding hub of all veterans resources available in San Diego.

 

a hand holding a black iPhone

Jobs for Veterans—and Much More

In San Diego and across the country, veterans services are fragmented. As a result, vets may not be aware of all the opportunities available to them.

Put plainly, the government’s setup is outdated.

We have to streamline + organize veterans resources.

How?

With a web-based Veterans Resource Network (VRN).

Building on what websites like Hire Heroes USA and Veterans Benefits Network have begun, our government can provide an accessible, centralized hub.

On a clear, easy-to-use interface, veterans could access everything from job listings to health resources information.

Local vets resources can come together in one—including:

At the same time, veterans could volunteer to help fellow vets by:

  • Mentoring
  • Providing housing
  • Locating jobs for veterans
  • Offering other guidance for soldiers returning to civilian life

This is how to help homeless veterans—and all veterans.

 

Photo of a mand and woman in a modern office

How to Help Job Interviews Happen

For the homeless veterans awaiting phone calls about job interviews, the VRN could help vets find locations to charge cell phones—and serve other basic needs.

With the city looking out for these veterans—and using the VRN to do so—our government can ensure those spots remain open to vets.

Once the vet gets the call for an interview, how do they get there?

Via the VRN, veterans could get free rideshare vouchers for job interviews.

This way, the government eases the burden of coordinating a ride to those crucial appointments. With these rideshare vouchers, we can go beyond connecting veterans to jobs listings:

The city can help get them there.

When we show that we value our veterans—with true concern, accessible resources, and extensive opportunities—we show how much we appreciate their service.

Starting in San Diego, then expanding to a national VRN, we can make a real impact on veterans’ lives.

 

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Donate Now + Vote March 2020

Will you vote in the primaries, on March 3, 2020?

Can I count on your vote—and your help in the meantime?

To win the race for City Council District 7, this next year will require a lot of hard work and determination.

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