Capital Region Cares Capital Region Cares 2017-2018 - Page 126

n Feature R aised in Oakland by a family entrenched in AN OBVIOUS NEED drugs, alcohol and a notorious biker gang, Mi- The Mather Veterans Village is a unique effort in Northern chael Vercelli says he’s been an alcoholic since California to provide permanent housing and on-site sup- age 12. He didn’t attend school until the fourth portive services for veterans located on the former Mather grade. At age 18, Vercelli says he made the best decision of Air Force Base in Rancho Cordova. It’s the result – ten years his life by joining the U.S. Navy. in the making – of a collaboration between the City of Ran- “I did really well in the Navy,” the 57-year-old veteran cho Cordova, Mercy Housing, Veterans Resource Center of reflects, “until they let me off the boat.” America, and the County of Sacramento. After his discharge in 1981, he spent years working as The first of three phases was completed in summer 2016, a carpenter and journeyman, but every decision he made and as the only development of its kind in the Sacramento was clouded by his addictive behavior and