April 4 at 4:15pm

VASD keeps services rolling at new location

Veterans Assistance of San Diego has a new home after completing a move of its operations to the Veterans Association of North County building in Oceanside.

VASD, a division of Interfaith Community Services, opened its doors at the new location April 1, creating, along with the existing tenant, a stand-alone resource center for active military members, veterans and their families in the coastal area.

It was a relatively smooth move for the department to go from its existing space at Interfaith’s Coastal Service Center, said Dean Dauphinais, director of veterans services.

“We had a top-notch teamwork effort to get (the move) done as planned. It went very well; as well as a move can go,” he said.

Twelve VASD employees will occupy the 3,000 square feet of office space in the building at 1617 Mission Ave. That location, and the complementing of VASD’s services with the Veterans Association’s diverse programs, will make things convenient for those needing assistance.

“Everybody likes the idea of there being a central hub for veterans services. We’re looking forward to making strong connections in the future, and seeing more veterans,” said Dauphinais. “We’ve had some traffic come through that we might not have seen in our other location due to our partnership with VANC.”

Veterans Assistance of San Diego has previously served more than 300 people a year in the coastal area, offering transitional housing for male and female veterans, employment services and access to benefits through various programs and partnerships.

Veterans Association of North County is an umbrella group of 37 veterans organizations with roughly 5,000 members, noted president and founder Chuck Atkinson earlier this year.

The two organizations signed a 10-year partnership agreement in January allowing Veterans Assistance of San Diego the use of space in the building it leases at no charge from the city of Oceanside.

All of VASD’s services will continue to be offered at the new location. More could be provided as needs surface.

“There are going to be things we are not able to do, but through the process of veterans expressing the needs they have, we can gear our grant and fundraising efforts toward the things we don’t do right now,” said Dauphinais. “Ultimately, we want to be able to truly say we are the one-stop shop for veterans services.”

The main phone number at new center is 760-529-9979. A Wellness and Resource Fair from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 26, will also serve as an open house for anyone wishing to view the facility.

“We encourage any faith centers or social groups able to help to come see us and work together with us to find ways to help,” said Dauphinais. “To rally around causes like this will help veterans transition back into the community.”