Veterans of military service who live in San Mateo County will have a representative body that speaks directly to the county Board of Supervisors on issues that affect them. On June 2, the board voted unanimously to approve a resolution to establish the Veterans' Commission.
The new commission is "near and dear to my heart," said supervisor and Vietnam veteran Warren Slocum. "It's our job and it's our duty" to help veterans, he said.
The county estimates there are about 33,000 veterans in San Mateo County, many of whom are employed and live stable lives. The commission will work mainly on behalf of veterans with unmet needs.
Among those needs, according to a study by the county manager's office and the county's Human Services Agency, are safety-net services, mental and behavior health services, and affordable housing for veterans and their families.
The commission aims to expand veterans' awareness of available benefits and services, focus on issues affecting women veterans, and address the needs of homeless veterans, officials said.
The commission will have nine voting members appointed by the supervisors for three-year terms, with a requirement to meet at least six times a year and to report to the board at least once a year.
The county is expected to begin accepting applications for the commission in July.