West Los Angeles VA Campus to Serve Veterans in Need

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Secretary McDonald and representatives of homeless veterans in L.A. announce historic agreement for use of campus

 

The Department of Veterans Affairs and attorneys representing homeless veterans in Los Angeles announced yesterday an agreement that dedicates the West Los Angeles VA campus to serving homeless veterans, women veterans, aging veterans, and veterans that are severely disabled. In addition, VA and the veteran community will design a plan to help end veteran homelessness in Los Angeles County. This plan will be developed by Feb. 13, 2015 and is an important step in our nation’s goal of ending veteran homelessness by the end of 2015.

“This announcement, and the work it will propel, shifts the tide of homeless veteran services in Los Angeles. We thank the Secretary for his leadership in this effort, and are encouraged by his commitment to leveraging local expertise to increase housing options for homeless veterans. Integrating local community providers into this effort will ensure homeless veterans have access to choice and opportunity,” said NCHV Executive Director Baylee Crone.

NCHV member agencies weighed in on this effort, offering their support: “Having worked to end veteran homelessness for more than 20 years, we are grateful to the Secretary for his attention and look forward to working with him to see his plan come to fruition. Working with community based veterans service providers like U.S. VETS will be key to his success,” said Steve Peck, U.S. VETS President and CEO.

Los Angeles has the largest population of homeless veterans in the nation, and this announcement is a significant step in ensuring the service network in L.A. meets the needs of any veteran who is homeless or at-risk of homelessness.
VA Secretary Robert McDonald said, “This agreement offers VA a historic opportunity to build new community relationships in Los Angeles and continue the work needed to end veteran homelessness here. VA is proud of the progress we’ve made in ending veteran homelessness—down 33 percent since 2010—but we won’t be satisfied until every veteran has a home.”
The agreement was in regard to the lawsuit filed in 2011 by representatives of homeless veterans in Los Angeles over use of the campus.

As part of the agreement, Secretary McDonald will also develop a new long-term Master Plan for use of the campus moving forward. The Master Plan will be completed by Oct. 16, 2015 and will prioritize bridge housing and permanent supportive housing for veterans.

Read VA’s full press here.

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