Gold Coast Veterans Foundation Receives $40,000 Grant

Receives $40,000 Matching Grant

Ventura County veterans will receive expanded services from the Gold Coast Veterans Foundation (GCVF) thanks to a $40,000 matching grant from the Martin V. & Martha K. Smith Foundation.

“The continued support from the Martin V. & Martha K. Smith Foundation is special for Gold Coast Veterans Foundation,” says J.C. Oberst, GCVF executive director. “This is the third grant the Smith Foundation has approved and the foundation’s support is what enabled us to start providing services to veterans.”

The GCVF assisted over 2,100 veterans and their families in 2016, a 275% increase since 2014. GCVF currently does not have the staff to assist all the veterans coming to its Veterans Connection Center in Camarillo. The grant will enable GCVF to expand its capabilities to help veterans transition from military employment to a civilian career.

“We can assist transitioning military to develop a plan to reach their goals by using Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits wisely, obtain job skills while attending school and coach them on using their military experience as a competitive edge in the job market,” says Oberst.

There are 40,000 veterans, National Guard Reservists and Active Duty service members in Ventura County. Besides employment and education services, GCVF helps veterans of any age with medical/disability claims, PTSD counseling, healing and wellness and to secure housing.

“We first work with veterans on a one-to-one basis to ensure we understand their needs,” says Oberst. “We then identify the best assets and continue to follow up with them to ensure services improve their quality of life.”

Oberst cites the example of how a young veteran and his service dog were referred to GCVF by a government representative. “He was told to come to us to seek assistance with housing,” says Oberst. “He was out of work and living in his pick-up truck with his very large service dog. Before the afternoon was over, we had found him a place to live and worked with him to get him settled. He is an entrepreneur and within just a few weeks was ready to get back to work.”

The Smith grant is a matching grant so GCVF is currently seeking donations. For more information on how to donate or to volunteer, go to or call 805-482-6550.

The Martin V. and Martha K. Smith Foundation was established by Martin V. “Bud” Smith and his wife Martha with the mission “To enhance the quality of life for residents of Ventura County”.  Bud, the leading land and business developer in Ventura County for more than 50 years, and his wife Martha hoped that the Foundation would involve future generations of their family in continuing their appreciation of Ventura County and their care and concern for strengthening the community.   Four of bud and Martha Smith’s descendants serve on the board of the Foundation.  Joining the Ventura County Community Foundation as a support organization in 1994, the Martin V. & Marth K. Smith Foundation provides funding to nonprofits in Ventura County through an annual grant program, with an emphasis on organizations serving the Oxnard plain.

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