Located directly across from the Veterans Hospital is a two story building. From the outside it resembles an eclectic building. Once you walk up a short flight of stairs, you’re stepping into a warm, inviting ‘home away from home’ feeling. Linda Grace smiles with an extended firm handshake then we proceed to the ‘living room’ to talk about what the Veteran’s Guest House is all about.
It was started by two veterans who were literately sleeping in their cars because they had no where to stay. These two men collaborated with the #veteranshospitalfoundation to build their first guest house. The doors opened 1994.
I was given a full tour by Ms.Grace, who has been working as a program manager for over 1 year. Linda is primarily in charge of fundraising, but she also manages the day to day activities for the guests.
The house serves up to 100 square miles as far away as Hawthorne, Bishop, Northern California, Chico, Grass Valley, Alturas, Willits, etc). They charge $25 a night, but will not turn anyone away if they can not pay. VGH is a non-profit organization so they rely on private donations. Linda tells me they usually provide a Continental breakfast every morning with fresh coffee, sweet rolls, etc. They often receive donations of food from local community. A local church brings them a home cooked meal on occasion. They have a full kitchen so their guests can fix their own meals. For guests who have accessibility issues, they offer an elevator to their rooms and back down to the main level. One thing I got out of this tour is its really a home away from home.