About the series
Veterans Village of San Diego is a nationally renowned nonprofit that brings in more than $17 million dollars in public funds each year. But staff and residents fear that its drug and alcohol treatment center on Pacific Highway has strayed far from what it once was.
inewsource reporter Jill Castellano spoke with dozens of people who have lived or worked at Veterans Village. Her project has exposed overdoses at the rehab center, widespread drug use, unsafe living conditions, poor food quality and more.
Jill Castellano is an investigative data reporter at inewsource. She has worked for The Salt Lake Tribune, The Desert Sun and USA TODAY, and she earned a Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting in 2018 for her work on the deaths of undocumented border crossers. At inewsource, she has covered campaign finance, criminal justice, public health and veterans issues.
Two months after the investigation published, county officials revealed that they had been quietly working behind the scenes to address many of the concerns raised in the reporting, ultimately leading them to put a freeze on new admissions at the rehab center “pending corrective action.”
Residents and staff say the renowned nonprofit, which operates a drug and alcohol treatment program, is now dangerous for people with addiction.
Audio from the series
The nonprofit can admit county clients again to its addiction treatment facility following a seven-month pause due to safety concerns.
Ongoing investigations and a county admissions freeze are still plaguing the nonprofit’s renowned rehab center.
Marcus Mondragon was a resident at the renowned nonprofit’s rehab center when he died on Oct. 1.
Decorated Navy SEAL Nathanael Roberti nearly died at the troubled San Diego rehab center in April.
The county said clients cannot enroll in the drug treatment program until “corrective actions” are taken.
The death took place days before Stand Down, the nonprofit’s nationally revered annual event for homeless veterans.
John Laidlaw, the COO of the renowned San Diego nonprofit, has stepped down from his position.
Army veteran Jennelle Self, 29, was killed outside her San Diego apartment. Employees for the property owner said they were not surprised.
Following inewsource’s investigation into Veterans Village of San Diego, state and federal lawmakers say they are working to address concerns about conditions at the nonprofit’s rehab center.
A Veterans Village employee was fired after sharing her concerns about drug use and unsafe conditions at the nonprofit’s renowned rehab center in San Diego.
Nathanael Roberti’s friends say unsafe conditions at the treatment center contributed to his overdose.