Wave Staff and Wire Reports
LOS ANGELES — U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough has vowed to find temporary housing by the end of the month for about three dozen homeless veterans who have been living in a Brentwood-area encampment, while also saying hundreds more homeless vets would be given shelter by year’s end.
McDonough toured the West Los Angeles VA campus earlier this month, including the encampment that has come to be known as Veterans Row. He said Oct. 20 that the VA has deployed a team to meet with the vets living in the encampment and get them into housing by Nov. 1.
He also indicated the VA would work to provide housing for another 500 veterans in the Los Angeles area by the end of the year.
His announcement was met with praise from local elected officials.
“I’m pleased that, following his visit to the West L.A. VA earlier this month, Secretary McDonough is taking concrete steps to address veteran homelessness in Los Angeles,” said Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Torrrance. “During the visit, I urged the secretary to prioritize veteran homelessness at the agency, and specifically to focus on Southern California. He reaffirmed his and the Biden administration’s commitment to this effort and today’s announcement reflects that.”
Rep. Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles, called the announcement “the exact kind of leadership needed to get folks in homes.”
“This crisis is not going to go away overnight. It’s going to take concerted efforts at all levels of government in collaboration with outside groups to get this done,” Bass wrote on her Twitter page. “Addressing this crisis cannot wait.”
Rep. Mark Takano, D-Riverside, who chairs the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, said “earlier this month, I invited Secretary McDonough to tour the San Vicente encampment and speak with homeless veterans themselves. I’m grateful that the secretary took these conversations to heart and is following up with VA action when these veterans need it most.
“I know that together we can continue to tackle the biggest problems facing veterans in the L.A. area, including the monumental effort to end veteran homelessness.”