, CA — VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System (VAGLAHS), working with community partners, is following the final 24 Veterans in the encampment along the San Vincente fence line.
The Veteran population in the encampment decreased from a high of 56 to the current census of 24. As of today, 19 Veterans have planned dispositions, including VA programs, hotel placements and emergency shelter options. VA continues to work with the remaining 5 Veterans on available options.
“Veteran homelessness is a uniquely complex issue that VA remains committed to addressing. VA’s comprehensive program offerings are designed to meet homeless and at-risk Veterans wherever they are, and to address their needs as individuals,” said Dr. Steven Braverman, Medical Center Director, VAGLAHS.
The Community Engagement and Reintegration Service (CERS) at VAGLAHS works to connect Veterans experiencing homelessness and at-risk Veterans with quality health care, community employment services, justice- and reentry-related services, and housing solutions to break the cycle of substance abuse, incarceration, and chronic homelessness. As such, CERS Outreach teams have recently ramped up their ongoing efforts to engage with Veterans residing in the homeless encampment along the San Vicente fence line of the VA West Los Angeles campus.
“VA is here to support homeless Veterans by connecting them to the services they have earned and deserve. We work hard to engage with homeless Veterans across the Greater Los Angeles area, not only those near our facilities, because we are committed to helping restore them to health and a proper housing situation,” continued Dr. Steven Braverman.
Beginning in early August 2021, CERS, along with a number of local government and non-profit partners, met with homeless advocates and Veterans on San Vicente Boulevard in an effort to be transparent about plans to eventually connect every encampment resident to interim and permanent housing. The feedback VA received from these Veterans led to various expansions to homeless Veteran services, including providing regular shuttle service from Eisenhower Gate, near the encampment, to the Welcome Center during daytime hours; plans to add overnight staff positions to allow for 7-day, 24-hour service; as well as extended acceptance hours at the Care, Treatment & Rehabilitative Services (CTRS) Initiative site on the Grand Lawn of the VA West LA Campus, and planned staffing in the Welcome Center information booth until 8:00 p.m.
CERS has worked with the Veterans at the encampment since its establishment last year during the COVID-19 pandemic. Veterans have been offered, and many have accepted, a variety of services, including emergency, transitional, and permanent supportive housing; substance abuse programs; connections to Justice Outreach; job readiness; and medical care.
If you know a homeless or at-risk Veteran who could use VA services, call the WLA Campus Welcome Center at (310) 268-3269. Veterans in crisis should call 1 (800) 273-8255 and press 1.
ABOUT VAGLAHS: VAGLAHS is one component of the VA Desert Pacific Healthcare Network (VISN22) offering services to Veterans residing in Southern California. VAGLAHS consists of two ambulatory care centers, a tertiary care facility and eight community-based outpatient clinics. VAGLAHS serves Veterans residing throughout five counties: Kern, Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura. There are approximately 1.4 million Veterans in the VAGLAHS service area. For more information, call (310) 268-3340 or visit us at www.losangeles.va.gov. Veterans in need can call the VA hotline toll-free at 877-4-AID-VET.