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New 2-1-1 Hotline Helps San Diego Vets

Phone operator talks to a veteran, hoping to match them with advice from volunteers in San Diego.

Aired 2/26/16 on KPBS News.

Vets' Community Connection will match veterans with volunteers who can give advice on living in San Diego.

Along with Phoenix and South Bend, Ind., San Diego will be home to one of three pilot programs designed to help veterans reintegrate into the community.

Vets' Community Connections nearly bypassed San Diego. Co-Founder Doug Wilson said the city seems to have plenty of groups dedicated to helping veterans. But what they lacked was a way for the average person to pledge their support.

“For those who want to give discounts, great, but there is no mandate," said Doug Wilson, co-founder Vets' Community Connections. "It’s basically that they know it’s human beings that they can trust. It’s a way to start building relationships. It’s a way to minimize the divide.”

Housed in the county of San Diego’s 2-1-1 center, a group of trained volunteers will match veterans with people in the community who help them answer mundane questions from, "What should I look for in a roofer?" to "How do I sign my kid up for soccer camp?"

The service was unveiled Thursday and had already begun receiving calls.

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