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Struggling vets program 'moves in' with CODAC
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Struggling vets program 'moves in' with CODAC

Comin' Home, a local non-profit organization that houses veterans, became a program of CODAC Behavioral Health Services last month. The merger will not change any of the programs and services offered to vets.

Comin' Home supplies up to one year of housing for veterans. The campus is located on the corner of Palo Verde Avenue and Water Street and can house up to 52 veterans. Since the organization was established in 1989, it has housed more than 3,800 veterans.

On Feb. 4, CODAC CEO Dennis Regnier and other administrators members ate dinner with the some of the veterans living at Comin' Home's campus to answer any questions they had about the merger.  

Before CODAC stepped in, Comin' Home was in financial trouble. In June 2010, Comin' Home lost the grant from its largest funder, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, said Lorraine Conn, a spokeswoman for the Tucson VA,

CODAC's professional relationship with Comin' Home began in 2011, Regnier said. Regnier's predecessor, Mark Clark, initiated the partnership with a management agreement that supplied Comin' Home with financial and management assistance.

"The merger itself doesn't change anything that we have been doing the past couple of years," Regnier said. "It just formalizes it."

Since the management agreement, CODAC had someone in attendance at almost all of Comin' Home's board meetings, Regnier said.

In April 2011, the VA reinstated Comin' Home's grant.

"It was really a community effort to get those services reinstated for our vets," Conn said. CODAC's assistance, in particular, was why the grant suspension was lifted, she said. 

In January 2012, all nine members of Comin' Home's staff were hired by CODAC. At that time, although the Comin' Home's staff were CODAC employees, Comin' Home itself was still its own entity, said program director Sarah Taouil.

All three of Comin' Home's board members were offered a spot on CODAC's board of directors but only their president, Pat Marsh, accepted. Robert Logan and Mike Mager declined. However, Mager still continues to volunteer for Comin' Home, Taouil said.

The grant from the VA was transferred to CODAC in December 2012. 

Comin' Home's programs and services will continue to be paid for by grants, the largest still being from the VA. The US Department of Housing of Urban Development and private donations also provide funding for the programs.

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