Juli Veee

PARTNER SPOTLIGHT: Pacific Southwest Community Development Corp.

Juli Veee and his group of young soccer players at Chelsea Investment's  Cedar Creek apartments  in Santee. 

Juli Veee and his group of young soccer players at Chelsea Investment's Cedar Creek apartments in Santee. 

One of the joys in soccer legend Juli Veee’s life is his work with kids who otherwise couldn't afford to play.

With many families unable to afford participating in organized competition, Juli Veee’s soccer clinics are a regular feature of after-school programming at many of Chelsea Investment Corporation’s (Chelsea) affordable communities in San Diego and Imperial counties. For eight years, the retired San Diego Sockers star’s program has been a valued component of many of the resident service plans designed by Pacific Southwest Community Development Corporation (PSCDC).

“Juli works with kids who have limited access to organized play, or professional coaching,” said Robert Laing, president and executive director of PSCDC. “It’s one of most popular after-school programs, especially in Imperial County where many of our residents are priced out of activities like club sports.”

Pacific Southwest Community Development Corporation's commitment to the after school program carries on throughout the summer months.

Pacific Southwest Community Development Corporation's commitment to the after school program carries on throughout the summer months.

Since its inception in 1993, PSCDC has partnered with Chelsea at more than 50 apartment communities to meet the needs of low-income individuals and families.  The scope of these resident-serving programs includes sports and recreation, art, English as a second language, homework assistance, tutoring, computer labs, and other counseling services.

"We’re busiest during the school year, of course, but the goal of helping our students succeed doesn’t end when summer begins,” said Laing. “The children in our communities really look forward to the summer reading program, offered through the Public Library. We sponsor a competition every year to see who can read the most books and it’s become a big deal, especially for younger children.”

Another program with huge implications for the health and welfare of their residents is PSCDC’s support of the local food bank in Imperial County.

“Food insecurity is a big problem in Imperial County and over the years, we’ve helped implement some sustainable solutions,” said Laing.

Working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, PSCDC receives surplus food for distribution to Chelsea communities in the area.

“The USDA has trained our crews in proper food handling and food distribution,” said Laing. “We pay the food bank to load up their truck and deliver food to our properties. It’s available for any resident who wants or needs it.”

PSCDC is the second largest distributor of food in the Imperial Valley, second only to Catholic Charities.

In San Diego, several Chelsea properties stage their own farmers’ markets by setting up stalls in their community rooms.

“In these farmers’ markets, we’re able to distribute groceries that are nearing their sell-by dates,” said Laing. “It solves a problem for the major supermarket chains while helping our residents.”

Laing has led San Diego-based PSCDC since he left the homebuilding business in 2008. In the last eight years, he has grown the staff from three to 34 and has expanded the company’s client list.

Laing sees the future of the company well beyond its current mission. Just last month, PSCDC completed a new 20-unit senior apartment complex in downtown Morro Bay, Calif.

“Rather than being just a partner, we’ve decided to build our own affordable housing,” said Laing. “We just finished our first one and we’re looking for more opportunities.”

For more information on PSCDC, visit http://pswcdc.org

Leading By Example - Teaming Up With Juli Veee

Juli Veee and a group of young residents at the  Rancho Del Norte Apartments  in 4S Ranch.

Juli Veee and a group of young residents at the Rancho Del Norte Apartments in 4S Ranch.

Born in Budapest, Hungary, Juli Veee grew up in a world where the communist government controlled every aspect of a Hungarian’s life. At 15, Juli (born Gyula Visnyei) was given a choice between pursuing a career in soccer or table tennis. He chose soccer. Frustrated by the restrictions of his totalitarian homeland, Juli defected at 18 while on a tour with the Hungarian U-21 national team. He then parlayed the profession he chose into an inspiring career here in the United States. Between the years of 1975 and 1988, Juli Veee played professional soccer for everyone from the Los Angeles Aztecs to the New York Arrows, but most notably for his adopted hometown team of the San Diego Sockers.

Since retiring from professional soccer, Juli is free to pursue his other passions. Veee, now a successful artist, also works for the nonprofit Pacific Southwest Community Development Corporation (PCSDC), which has partnered with Chelsea Investment Corporation (CIC) on the development of many affordable communities throughout California. CIC, a leading developer of affordable housing in San Diego County, inspired Juli Veee to form a symbiotic relationship by which he would have an opportunity to give back to kids being raised in a situation not unlike his own as a child. “I grew up in a similar circumstance in Hungary,” he confided, “and I enjoy working with the kids to show them they have an opportunity to make more of their lives.” 

It’s not just soccer on the agenda when legendary Hall of Famer Juli Veee visits local communities developed by CIC. Since 1996, Veee, has led an after-school enrichment curriculum that includes both outdoor soccer and indoor arts. 

To his list of credits, Juli adds being designated by WORLD CUP USA 1994, the Official Artist for SOCCERFEST (the ultimate, interactive soccer exposition).  This colorful, multi-talented soccer phenomenon-turned-professional artist was inspired to create a dazzling collection of “Sports Art” spotlighting full-color, action-packed soccer images designed especially for this spectacular event.  Having represented both the United States and his native Hungary as a National Team player, Juli possesses unprecedented artistic insight into the arena of international soccer competition, making his a truly meaningful and appropriate contribution.

To his list of credits, Juli adds being designated by WORLD CUP USA 1994, the Official Artist for SOCCERFEST (the ultimate, interactive soccer exposition).  This colorful, multi-talented soccer phenomenon-turned-professional artist was inspired to create a dazzling collection of “Sports Art” spotlighting full-color, action-packed soccer images designed especially for this spectacular event.  Having represented both the United States and his native Hungary as a National Team player, Juli possesses unprecedented artistic insight into the arena of international soccer competition, making his a truly meaningful and appropriate contribution.

In addition, Juli does charitable work with the Alpha Project, North County Health Services, Palomar College, TERI, Inc. and the Boys and Girls Club.