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San Diego County pauses new admissions at Veterans Village of San Diego

Posted at 6:23 AM, Aug 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-11 09:23:28-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- After months of investigations, San Diego County officials have paused new admissions of Behavioral Health Services (BHS) and Probation clients at Veterans Village of San Diego.

The move comes after numerous visits, interviews, and reviews of protocols and practices at the facility by the county's Probation and BHS clients.

In a statement, the county said in late March the probation department raised concerns about the organization's lack of communication with probation officers, including reporting client progress or when clients left the facility too soon, as well as concerns about a staffing shortage.

The county did not elaborate but said the reports were "worrisome" because they came in the context of a recent drug overdose-related client at Veterans Village.

After closely monitoring the facility in May, the county said its BHS department later issued a Corrective Action Notice in June.

Then, last month, another probation client fatally overdosed at the facility.

The county said they conducted extensive interviews with clients and reviewed the facility’s protocols again, which resulted in issuing the formal hold on any new admissions until they complete investigations and corrective actions are taken.

Veterans Village of San Diego has been serving local veterans since 1981. It's known for its Stand Down event, which helps connect vets and their families to important resources. The three-day event this year helped about 400 people, according to a spokesperson.

In a statement, Veterans Village acknowledged a recent fentanyl overdose and said the case was still under investigation, adding:

“Those who are quick to point the finger at the very organizations who are on the front line doing the actual work should consider joining the fight against our real enemies, systemic poverty, growing unemployment, lack of affordable housing, poor access to mental health services, and the individuals heartless enough to peddle substances known to be fatal.”

The facility said clients are not locked down, they are allowed to come and go, but subject to searches when they return.