Aspire Center nearing completion: Project is new approach by the VA for veterans with PTSD

SAN DIEGO - A one-of-a-kind facility is about to open its doors to 40 veterans who have otherwise not had much success tackling post traumatic stress from Iraq and Afghanistan.

"When I got out in 2006, I felt lost and had no purpose," said retired Marine Staff Sgt. Kris Warren, who will be among the staff at the new Aspire Center.

Debbie Dominick, another of the center's staff members, told 10News, "This is not for acute cases. We're looking for those individuals we don't want to fall through the cracks and who haven't been helped by outpatient therapy."

Veterans who meet the criteria will stay in the facility anywhere from 60 to 120 days.  

"This kind of approach is a first for the VA but we hope this will be a model for the rest of the country to follow," said Jeff Gering, the medical center director for the San Diego VA.

The project in an old law school building was initially opposed by a school across the street and others in the surrounding neighborhood, but both sides worked to come to a solution over their concerns that were mutually beneficial to both.

The official opening is next Monday with veterans moving in a week later.

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