“We started talking to the veterans, and their needs were not just shelter, but to have a complete program to be able to address PTSD, health care, and being able to live in a community with other veterans,” Orange County Rescue Mission President Jim Palmer told The Epoch Times.
Center expansions, which were completed in mid-May, increased capacity from 26 veterans to 71. Oltmans Construction Company provided full service and materials for the project.
As well as providing housing, the extended facility provides additional services, including for those attending vocational training or college. Family units are also available to support veterans with families.
“Our goal is to see them transformed from their current situation of brokenness and homelessness to being whole, healed, and functioning again in the community on their own,” Palmer said.
When the Tustin Veterans Outpost site initially opened in 2016 with eight apartments and veteran-specific services, the goal was to give veterans a hand up. Occupants of the shelter said they considered it to be a safe haven.
“It has provided a safe place for my child and I to live,” Navy veteran Andrea Alexander told The Epoch Times. “It’s given me a family, a stable home, a place to unwind. … It feels like a home.”
Alexander has resided at the outpost since early 2020, and said she has taken advantage of the services offered to help her advance to the next step in her life.
“This program helped me feel like I’m a person again—like I have a purpose,” she said.
Additional services offered at the center in partnership with other programs include child development, legal services, medical services, vocational training, case management, counseling, and more.
There’s no time limit for veterans to stay at the facility, but the time frame averages between 18 to 24 months.
The OC Rescue Mission is 100 percent privately funded.