Veteran's Village
Veterans Village of San Diego’s campus for drug and alcohol rehabilitation. (Jill Castellano/inewsource)

San Diego County officials have stopped sending clients to Veterans Village of San Diego following multiple deaths at the nonprofit’s rehab center and ongoing concerns about its operations.

County spokesperson Mike Workman said the decision to freeze admissions was made “to ensure the safety, support and clinical wellbeing of those with behavioral health needs.” He said the hold will be in place “pending corrective actions.”

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This major development has been months in the making. On Friday, the county provided a lengthy statement that discloses new details about its many efforts to bring the troubled drug treatment program into compliance.

The county oversees the clients enrolled at Veterans Village under the state’s Drug MediCal funding program. Last fiscal year, the nonprofit brought in nearly $6 million through Drug MediCal, accounting for more than a quarter of its total earnings. 

Some of those clients are under the supervision of the San Diego County Probation Department and are required to stay sober as a condition of their release from jail.

In late March, the probation department told county officials that Veterans Village was not communicating about their clients, the progress they were making or instances when they left the program prematurely, the county’s statement says.

The department was also growing concerned about a staffing shortage at the rehab center, which was affecting kitchen services, nursing care and clinical treatment.

“These reports were particularly worrisome, as they came in the context of a recent drug overdose-related client fatality,” Workman said.

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