RANCHO CORDOVA (CBS13) — Military veterans have a place they can call home as the Mather Veterans Village opens its doors to struggling veterans.
Dozens of veterans at the facility, man who are disabled or used to be homeless, say it’s giving them a second chance in life.
Robert St. Clair put the finishing touches in Rancho Cordova on a place that’s helping him resurrect a broken life.
“I probably wouldn’t be here today,” he said.
After serving his country proudly, he quickly fell into the snare of drug abuse.
“I was addicted for 37 years,” he said.
He’s one of 50 veterans living in the apartments funded by the nonprofit Mercy Housing, Veterans Resource Centers of America and the city of Rancho Cordova.
Jerry Bradbury is also on the rebound.
“I came here with just a bag of clothes and my dog,” he said.
He says he gets free counseling and therapy, job training, and medical assistance. He’s also able to keep his faithful companion.
“They’ve been nothing but great here. They got me into my own apartment with my dog. To restart and reboot my life again,” he said.
There are more than 92,000 veterans living in the Sacramento region and many are still on the streets. There’s no room to house them all here, but Doug Shoemaker with Mercy Housing California says there are plans to expand.
“People are moving out of culverts and homeless shelters and into apartments with doors and kitchens and nice places to live,” he said.
Location is key—it’s right down the street from the V-A Hospital.
“We have a lot of community motivation to do everything we can for our veterans because of that unique military history,” said Mayor David Sander.