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Founded in 1995, the California Association of Veteran Service Agencies (CAVSA) is a consortium of seven non-profit veteran service providers working in partnership to address the needs of California’s veterans. CAVSA’s geographic diversity facilitates the delivery of direct services in both urban and rural regions throughout the state, stretching from Eureka to San Diego.

  • California is home to the largest veteran population with 1.68 million veterans and thousands more returning from military service each year to our communities.
  • Veterans are disproportionately represented among California’s homeless population, and experience employment challenges far greater than their peers.
    • California is one of five states where the majority (63%) of homeless veterans live in unsheltered locations.
    • Veterans face unique employment challenges. These challenges include translating their military skills into the civilian workplace, overcoming stigma and stereotypes, and employers’ hesitation to hire veterans.
  • California has a backlog of nearly 50,000 VA disability claims, and nearly 45,000 veterans have waited more than a year for a resolution.

As community-based direct service providers, we draw upon our experience working directly with veterans to inform policy and advocate for adequate and accessible services and support. We understand that the obstacles veterans face — including homelessness, poverty, unemployment and disability — are interrelated and require an integrated network of support within the community and continuum of care. Together we work to improve services for California’s veterans and educate our communities about the unique needs of military veterans and their families.

CAVSA Board of Directors

Chuck Helget, Executive Director
CAVSA

Stephen Peck, President
U.S.VETS President & CEO
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Michael Blecker, Secretary
Swords to Plowshares Executive Director
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Peter Cameron, Treasurer
Veteran Resource Centers of America President & CEO
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Burt McChesney, Board Member
Veterans Housing Development Corporation

Deborah Johnson, Board Member
California Veterans Assistance Foundation President & CEO
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Kimberly Mitchell, Board Member
Veterans Village of San Diego President & CEO
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Leo Cuadrado, Board Member
New Directions for Veterans COO
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