OCEANSIDE, Calif. (KGTV) - A North County non-profit is helping homeless veterans get back on their feet and transition from military to civilian life.
Wounded Warrior Homes runs three houses in Oceanside, Vista and Escondido.
They help homeless veterans with "invisible" wounds like PTSD or brain injuries.
Co-Founder Mia Roseberry says getting the vets into a safe, reliable home is often the most important step towards recovery.
"When you have a safe place to sleep, and you know you’re going to be safe when you open your eyes, and you’re going to be able to eat and have a place to take a shower and you’re safe, then you can go, "Oh, what’s next?'" says Co-Founder Mia Roseberry.
According to the latest Point in Time count of the homeless, there are approximately 1,100 homeless veterans in San Diego County.
Army Veteran Russ Hudson was one of them. After serving from 2009 to 2013, he suffered from PTSD. Hudson struggled with drug addiction and was in and out of shelters and assistance homes.
"I was in a dark place," he says. "I was stressed out, I wasn't able to sleep at night." trouble sleeping.
Now, he's found stability with Wounded Warrior Homes. He's begun work training service dogs for other veterans dealing with PTSD.
"I love animals," Hudson says. "I’m from Mississippi, I grew up on a farm, I love dogs, and I was like, hey I’ll give it a try."
He's the kind of success story that Wounded Warrior Homes helps create. Roseberry says housing a few veterans in each home helps keep them connected to the community.
"If you live in your own place, like in a one bedroom apartment, no one really knows you’re isolating yourself," she says. "With this, your roommates will ask why they didn’t see you at breakfast, or at dinner or during the day. They will call each other on it and drag each other out of the room."
Volunteers help refurbish the homes and the organization offers weekly check-ins for the veterans. The group's website has more information about how to volunteer or how to donate,