by Robert Rosebrock
For years, the Old Veterans Guard has been calling for an emergency tented shelter encampment in Los Angeles for homeless Veterans on the grounds of the largest VA the nation. Los Angeles is our nation’s capital for homeless Veterans.
At all levels — all the way to Secretary Shinseki — the VA has completely ignored our plea to provide emergency shelter and care for thousands of disabled and disadvantaged homeless Veterans.
Moreover, the VA and the Obama Administration are vigorously fighting the ACLU lawsuit that calls for new supportive housing for disabled homeless Veterans.
The Old Guard has asked for a nominal amount of money to care for a large amount of homeless Veterans. Instead, government works with so-called non-profit corporations by providing them with a large amount of money to provide nominal shelter.
Consider that New Directions is spending $50 million of HUD money for 147 units with approximately 300 square feet at the Sepulveda VA that requires no land purchase and they’re simply rehabbing an existing structure.
The cost per bedroom is about $340,000.
At the Los Angeles VA, there’s a new Cal-Vet Home that cost $253 million for 396 bedrooms. It opened more than two years ago, and 300 rooms remain vacant.
The cost per bedroom is about $635,000.
U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Beverly Hills) and U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California) cobbled $20 million from Congress to purportedly rehab the rat-invested Building 209 that has been vacant for decades … it will have 52 rooms when it is finished in two years.
The cost per room is about $385,000.
Meanwhile, 20,000 disable and disadvantaged Veterans in Los Angeles live homeless and hungry in back-alley squalor.
For about one million dollars, (or less than the cost of three rooms in the Waxman/Feinsein plan), we can build an emergency tented encampment on the Grand Lawn of the Los Angeles VA, unlock the front gate, and provide immediate shelter and care for thousands of homeless Veterans.
We will work with scores of volunteers and sponsors to provide clothing, meals, medical, personal and legal counseling, etc.
The Los Angeles VA has an annual budget of over $750 million, yet it can’t (won’t) spare $1 million for an emergency homeless Veteran shelter, even though they squandered $1 million of Veterans healthcare money a couple of years ago by giving it to a wealthy homeowner group to build a pretentious wrought iron fence to “beautify” the entryway into Brentwood.
Is there any politician willing to stand up for homeless Veterans and provide them with the urgent care and shelter they need here in Los Angeles?
How about a group of like-minded politicians who claim “there’s no money” in their government department for taking care of those who have defended America’s freedom, pooling together a million dollars from various resources of government money for this noble cause?
How about a philanthropic individual or a group of philanthropic individuals pooling together some money.
It is simply astounding that we cannot come up with one million dollars in the richest nation in the world to care for those who cared for us. We are now proving to be the poorest nation in the world … the poorest in spirit and humanitarian good will.
Congress approved over One Trillion Dollars for two wars during the past decade, yet Cong. Waxman and Sen. Feinstein can only wrangle up $20 million from Congress to use for Veteran housing – providing a pitiful 52 rooms.
Attention Congressman Waxman and Senator Feinstein: How about donating some of your own campaign funds or personal wealth toward this noble cause to provide emergency affordable shelter for homeless Veterans?
Or how about hitting up some of your multi-millionaire and multi-billionaire campaign donors to give a paltry one million dollars as a token of gratitude for those who sacrificed so much to allow them to prosper so greatly in unparalleled freedom and safety?
Fellow Americans, what we’re seeing today in Los Angeles is not the kind of America that our men and women pledge their lives to defend.
Please speak up and demand action … there are 20,000 disabled and disadvantaged homeless Veterans who are depending upon us to look after them with the same commitment that they looked after us.
God Bless America and the Veterans Revolution!
“Save Our Veterans Land” and “Bring Our Homeless Veterans HOME.”
U.S. Army, 1965-67, Schofield Barracks, Hqs., U.S Army, Hawaii. Director, The Veterans Revolution, Captain, the Old Veterans Guard, and Director, We the Veterans.
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