Manteca city officials are working with the Veterans Administration to locate a Vet Center in Manteca.
City officials are currently exploring with Veterans Administration representatives several potential sites in Manteca including several private property locations to lease for a Vet Center.
One of the possible sites is adjacent to the Manteca Veterans Center/Manteca Community Center that is home of Jimmie Connors Post 6311 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in the 500 block of Moffat Boulevard.
The city is preparing a proposal for a 4,200-square-foot building just west of the Manteca Veterans Center and east of the city’s well water treatment facility. The location can accommodate 45 additional vehicles.
On Tuesday, the Manteca City Council met in a closed session to discuss price and terms for the VA to consider in regards to the Moffat site.
The Moffat proposal was an outgrowth of a meeting on Aug. 18 involving Manteca Mayor Steve DeBrum, City Manager Elena Reyes, Director of the Modesto Vet Center James Silveira, Modesto Vet Center Officer Manager Santiago Sanchez, and Manteca VFW Post 6311 Commander Carlon Perry. The five discussed space needs, location requirements and such for a Vet Center. The search for a Vet Center is being coordinated out of the VA’s Fresno office.
The VA was drawn to Manteca due to its central location and accessibility to both the Interstate 5 and Highway 99 corridors.
Should a Vet Center open in Manteca and locate adjacent to the Manteca Veterans Center it would dovetail with Perry’s vision that elected Manteca embraced when the city built the $1.3 million project that was dedicated on Veterans Day of last year. The Manteca Veterans Center was born over coffee at The Waffle Shop between Perry and fellow veteran and fellow former mayor Willie Weatherford. The idea was not just have a gathering place for all veterans but a place that they can go for fellowship and to seek help.
There are 29 Vet Centers currently In California. The closest is in Modesto at 1219 Carpenter Road. The next nearest Vet Centers are in Sacramento, Concord, and San Jose.
Services offered at a Vet Center include:
uIndividual and group counseling for Veterans, Service members, and their families
Family counseling for military related issues
Bereavement counseling for families who experience an active duty death
Military sexual trauma counseling and referral
Outreach and education
Substance abuse assessment and referral
Employment assessment and referral
CBA benefits explanation and referral
Screening and referral for medical issues
Perry was present at Tuesday’s open council meeting to update the council on Manteca Veterans Center activities.
VFW Post 6311 was chartered on March 3, 1946 and previously did not have a permanent home.
At the end of 2013 the post had 60 members with four to five that regularly attended monthly meeting. Today there are 501 members with ab average of 125 attending monthly meetings. On any given weekday some 30 veterans drop by the center for fellowship or to seek services.
Perry noted that besides providing wheelchairs and such that veterans need the post has had success at helping veterans find work. They also have brought numerous services to the center for all veterans to access such as mobile health clinics.