SAN DIEGO–The County’s Veterans Services Office needs space to work; the county library system has plenty of locations.
Put the two together and the number of locations where veterans can learn how to get the local, state and federal benefits afforded to them by law more than triples. A proposal to do that came before the Board of Supervisors Tuesday.
“We have over 244,000 vets living in San Diego County but we have only nine locations where veterans can get the services they need such as benefits, counseling, claims assistance and so on,” said Supervisor Dianne Jacob. “Many of these veterans live in very remote areas far away from these nine locations.”
With seven military installations in San Diego County, and many veterans choosing to stay where they are ultimately discharged, Supervisor Jacob says San Diego County will become the most populous location for veterans in the not so distant future.
As it stands now, the county has the second largest veteran population in California.
As the population of veterans rises, the need for volunteer Veterans Services Officers will also increase along with the demand for additional hours and locations. These volunteers are often challenged with finding space to meet with veterans. The library system could offer an additional 34 locations with some in rural areas like Campo, Julian and Borrego Springs allowing some veterans more convenient locations than those available to them now.
“It’s profound in its simplicity,” said County Library Director Jose´ Aponte.
County staff members will study the feasibility of the idea and report back to the Board within 120 days.