There's a vision for a home near Central and Walnut in Visalia. One that would help our nation's heroes. Leann Nussberger can picture it, "I believe it's going to be a wonderful stepping stone for them."
It would be a place veterans could call home. It could house 16 of them at a time while they go to college and it would be the only one of it's kind in Visalia. There's just a few things standing in the way.
Veterans Services Counselor Andrew Terrazas said, "We need paint, we need new floors... even the padding has been stained, ripped and torn up."
The house is a mess, Terrazas says squatters moved in and tore the place apart. In fact, squatters were at the home when our cameras showed up. They seemed comfortable with the situation but weren't willing to talk.
To make matters worse, Police can't kick the squatters out and the eviction process is a long one. Terrazas added, "We have an extensive waiting list and to think squatters is what's delaying it is kind of sad to think about."
During our tour of the home, something didn't seem right. Nussberger spotted a meth pipe and called the cops. Officers believe it belonged to one of the squatters. They searched her and took her to jail. We're told she had a warrant out of Kern County.
It was a small victory for the group but the big day will be in a court hearing tomorrow. It's the final step in the eviction process. Nussberger said, "Once that is done, we'll be able to go into the property and repair all the damage."
Another big problem, Nussberger says the repairs will cost at least $15,000. Money her non-profit group doesn't have. "We are pleading with the community to help us to go ahead and get our house to what we need to have our veterans live in."
Her vision seems to be within reach. Now it's just a matter of time and a lot of work.
The Visalia Veterans Service Home needs help from plumbers, electricians and construction companies. If you would like to donate time or money, you can email Leann Nussberger email@example.com or you can call Andrew Terrazas (559) 300-4966.