Itasca County home to first Veterans Crisis Response Team in the state

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About 45,000 people live in Itasca County, with 3,700 of them being veterans.

Now, those vets have a highly trained group of people who can help with a variety of needs.

They are called the Veterans Crisis Response Team, and are made up of veterans.

One of them is Randall Yoder, who served in the Air Force. He told us, “With helping veterans, it’s a continue brotherhood.”

The team operates within the First Call for Help organization, a non-profit that provides free, confidential and non-judgmental intervention.

Executive Director Cre Larson shared that they used to help a couple of veterans a year. But now, have already reached about 80.

“Our VCRT developed a close relationship with our local veterans service office. And our veterans know where to find veterans, because that’s their culture,” she said.

This team is the first in the state of Minnesota, according to Larson.

Calls come in to the First Call office, and then the trained team figures out how to help that veteran. It could be with mental health, or housing, or other needs.

“Each veteran is worth the help,” added Yoder.

To reach the team in Itasca County, dial 211.