Wico. Veterans Center Closes, Operation Moving to Del. - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Wico. Veterans Center Closes, Operation Moving to Del.

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Veteran Support Centers of America in Quantico (Photo: WBOC) Veteran Support Centers of America in Quantico (Photo: WBOC)

QUANTICO, Md.- The Veterans Support Centers of America, located in Quantico, is closing its doors.  However, the services the center provided to veterans in need are not going away, just moving to Delaware.

Jerry Black is the director of VSCOA and is in the process of packing up the shelter in Quantico known as Camp Royal Oak.  Black told WBOC his contract with the VA ran out earlier this year and his organization was not renewed.  Since then, it has been financially difficult to keep the center up and running, despite plenty of support from the local community. VSCOA at Camp Royal Oak was designed to provide housing, shelter, and support services to homeless veterans as they are transitioned back into society.  Leaving the Wicomico County location is not going to be easy for Black.

"We were right here.  We were operating and we were doing a great job.  We spent a great deal of time and investment in our community to let everybody know what this is.  So, from that standpoint, I hate to see that being closed," Black said.

However, without getting that financial support, Black said it was time for a change.  That change comes in the form of a move for Black and VSCOA. Following the end of the contract with the VA, Black said he began having conversations with leaders of Victory Village at Boxwood Manor in Middletown, Del. Victory Village is a 32-bed homeless veterans shelter, which is also designed to help transition the vets back into everyday life.  Black will now be working hand in hand with Victory Village to run that operation.  And the VSCOA PAWS program is going with him to Delaware.  PAWS is assistance dog training VSCOA offers to veterans.

"Better and bigger," Black said.  "We're going to expand and open it up to our first responders when we get up there.  We'll be able to bring in, from our community, anybody that needs or requires a service dog.  Anyone having issues with post traumatic stress."

Black said before Camp Royal Oak closed, every veteran still at the shelter was successfully transitioned out.  Black added he hopes to be up and running with VSCOA and Victory Village in mid- to late-January.

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