More than 23,000 U.S. military veterans call San Francisco home, according to the population data listings compiled by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. There are many excellent assistance programs available that can benefit San Francisco veterans, especially those that are 65 years of age or older. Resources include federal and state funded services as well as local community-based programs. Benefits range from rehabilitative programs, housing assistance for the homeless, healthcare services, education and job training assistance, and more.
The San Francisco VA Health Care System consists of the primary San Francisco VA Medical Center (SFVAMC) along with six additional outpatient clinics located in surrounding communities. Specialized programs include a community living center along with a homeless veterans’ clinic located in the center of San Francisco. Free valet parking is available at the medical center, which is located at 4150 Clement Street.
The City of San Francisco maintains a listing of services for veterans on its San Francisco’s 311 Veterans Resource Center page. The site contains information and links for numerous organizations and services available to area veterans. Categories include education and training, healthcare and mental health services, jobs and economic development, and social services.
The Human Services Agency of San Francisco assists area vets by helping them complete application forms and paperwork necessary to obtain VA benefits. Services include case management and advocacy that benefits vets during the process of filing a claim. The San Francisco Public Library is another resource for vets to explore. The library relies on volunteers to provide veterans with information about community-based services as well as federal and state benefit programs.
The California Department of Veterans Affairs administers a variety of programs and services some of which are provided in conjunction with the Veterans Administration. Benefits include tuition assistance, job training, healthcare and medical services, housing assistance and home loans, and advocacy support to obtain benefits.
The National Call Center for Homeless Veterans provides nationwide support services to all 50 states across the country. Veterans that live in San Francisco can get immediate assistance by contacting the call center to speak with a representative who will connect them with local resources in their area. Help is available 24 hours a day, around-the-clock, seven days a week.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) has a local chapter post located in San Francisco that offers area vets a variety of membership benefits when joining the organization. Chapter VFW posts often sponsor local events and activities, which provide members with the opportunity to socialize with other veterans that served in war. VFW benefits include discounts on travel services, insurance, retail merchandise purchases, and more.
There are about 30 American Legion chapter posts located within a 20-mile radius of downtown San Francisco. Membership includes a free subscription to the organization’s magazine along with access to job fairs and career events, continuing education, community support services, discounts on auto rentals, travel and lodging, and more.
Each year in November, the City of San Francisco honors vets that served with a Veterans Day Parade. Sponsors may vary during each annual event and can include participation and assistance from local community offices as well as national service support organizations. Information about upcoming events is posted on the site of the Veterans Affairs Commission for the City of San Francisco site as well as the website of the California Department of Veterans Affairs.
For more information on the Aid & Attendance Benefit and to learn how it can help pay for assisted living, please visit VeteranAid.org.
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