Veterans Assistance of San Diego

Veterans Assistance of San Diego focuses on assisting veterans in-need to acquire and maintain stable income and permanent housing.  VASD, a subsidiary of Interfaith Community Services, offers an array of programs in North San Diego County, using trained staff to provide veterans with transitional housing, residential housing, employment assistance, psychological therapy, physical health monitoring, homeless prevention assistance and temporary recuperative care after hospital discharge.

Clients initially receive a thorough assessment of their needs to create an individual service plan.  Each client’s progress in meeting goals of the plan is continuously monitored by their client advocate.

The following are the programs available to North County veterans and their families:

Veteran Housing

We offer 144 beds of transitional housing in three North County locations to qualifying veterans for up to 24 months.  Our program focuses on preparing veterans to reintegrate into independent living by attaining health, education, and a stable income, resulting in personal wellbeing.  All veterans who received discharges other than dishonorable are eligible to apply.

Aster Street

This program offers 28 beds in an apartment-style setting and is designed for veterans who are working or are on a vocational path.  Residents of the Aster St. program are expected to function at a high level in terms of work readiness efforts and permanent affordable housing searches.

Merle’s Place

This facility accommodates 44 veterans and is intended to serve the disabled and those with higher needs for support services.  Located at Interfaith’s Headquarters in Escondido, Merle’s Place is unique in that it offers prepared meals and direct access to services and staff.


In this community, Interfaith offers 72 beds in three adjacent apartment buildings.  The apartments are within walking distance of the beach and close to public transportation. The Oceanside Program is Interfaith’s only veterans housing to serve both male and female veterans.

Support Services

Some of the support services available to veterans in the above transitional housing programs include:

  • Gas cards
  • Bus passes
  • Interview/work clothing
  • Interview/work shoes
  • Eye exams and glasses assistance
  • Supplemental food assistance
  • VA benefits access and disability claims application assistance & processing

Employment Assistance

We are committed to helping veterans find sustainable employment opportunities.  We network with local employers and vocational training programs and provide coaching to help our veterans become job ready.  These services include: work readiness training, resume preparation, job search assistance, and access to our computer resource labs in both Escondido and Oceanside.  Specialized employment assistance is also available for female veterans and veteran families.

Homeless Veterans Reintegration Project (HVRP)

The Homeless Veterans Reintegration Project focuses on employment and aims at returning homeless veterans to the workforce.

Veterans receive case management and skills assessment, along with the employment and training services they need to re-enter the labor market, and are given priority for our housing programs.  Other services include work readiness training, resume preparation, plus job search assistance and placement.  Supportive services, such as clothing and transportation assistance are also provided.

Eligible candidates must be homeless veterans who can provide DD214, proving active duty service and a discharge other than dishonorable.

Workforce Investment Act (WIA)

The Workforce Investment Act includes the Dislocated Program, Veterans Employment Assistance Program and the Recently Separated Veterans Program.  All veterans discharged other than dishonorable are eligible to apply for these programs.

The vocational-focused Recently Separated Veterans Program provides job training, support services, skills upgrade and re-certification, counseling and job placement assistance to veterans who have been separated from the service within the last 48 months.  The objective of this program is to help the veteran achieve and maintain employment the provides a liveable wage and potential for career advancement.

Employment Services Labs

All Interfaith clients are able to utilize the computer lab at Interfaith’s Escondido inland and Oceanside coastal locations for job searching and other vocational activities.  Staff assists with career assessments, resume creation and interview preparation.  Workshops are offered on a variety of employment related topics at both the inland and coastal locations.  The Homeless Court Program offers information and advocacy when dealing with legal barriers.


Recuperative Care Program

In partnership with the VA, Tri-City, and Palomar hospitals, we provide emergency housing and support to homeless veterans recovering from an illness or injury. Our goal is to stabilize the clients’ health condition and help them learn to manage their own ongoing care in order to achieve long-term stability.

Partner Hospitals

VA San Diego Medical Center, Palomar Health, and Tri-City Medical Center


  • Homeless adult with acute medical or psychiatric need requiring short-term respite care
  • Not a risk to self/others and appropriate for group living
  • Independent in mobility, transfer, feeding, dressing and not known to be at fall-risk
  • Able to take medications independently
  • Willing to comply with medical recommendations and treatment plan goals
  • Agree to abstain from drugs and alcohol while in the program
  • Must be referred through partner hospitals (no self-referrals)


  • Housing, meals and transportation assistance
  • Medication management and health education (not a skilled nursing facility)
  • Case management, discharge planning and linkage to community services
  • Mental health treatment and relapse prevention
  • Enrollment in medical home for primary care and/pr mental health follow-ups
  • Structured group activities (i.e. AA/NA meetings, relapse prevention, life skills, etc.)


Mental Health Services

We employ a clinical staff of professionals to provide individual and group mental health services.  These include treatment for depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, schizophrenia, and other mental health afflictions.  Group therapy focuses on transitioning veterans to independent living, co-occuring mental disorders and relapse prevention.  We also provide psychiatric referrals when necessary.


Supportive Services

Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) is a federally funded program through the VA, operating out of both Interfaith Community Services in Escondido and PATH located in downtown San Diego.  SSVF helps low-income veterans and their families who are at-risk or facing homelessness obtain permanent housing and/or remain in their current homes.  The overall goal of the SSVF program is to provide the temporary financial assistance and case management to veterans in order to help them achieve self-sufficiency.


To learn more about a specific program, please contact:


Employment Services:

Marinea Goodson

(760) 489.6380 x 254


Andrea Moore

(760) 489.6380 x 265

Recuperative Care Program:

Ciera Christensen

(760) 739.9358

Supportive Services for Veteran Families:

Caroline Clark

(760) 529-9979 ext. 214


Director of Veterans Assistance:

Dean Dauphinais

(760) 489.6380 x 208