West LA VA campus gets new tiny shelters

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Wave Staff Report

LOS ANGELES — The Veterans Administration’s Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System received 20 additional tiny shelters at its West Los Angeles campus Nov. 20 bringing the total number of tiny shelters on the campus to 48.

A portion of West Los Angeles VA’s Care, Treatment and Rehabilitative Services initiative is being transitioned from tenting to tiny shelters. The initiative is a low-barrier-to-entry outreach program that provides homeless veterans a safe and clean living area with regular access to medical care, behavioral health services and housing services on the VA West L.A. campus.

All tiny shelters are provided through revocable license agreements between partner organizations and the VA. The 20 new shelters are being provided by Brentwood School.

“The tiny shelters are an important part of our comprehensive program offerings to address veteran homelessness in Los Angeles and to meet the individual needs of the veterans we are honored to serve.” said Dr. Steven Braverman, medical center director of the Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System. “The VA would like to thank Brentwood School for its partnership in bringing these additional tiny shelters to the West Los Angeles campus. The VA is dedicated to ending veteran homelessness, which is why we continue to expand our Care, Treatment, and Rehabilitative Service initiative to include tiny shelters for homeless veterans.”

The shelters come fully equipped with a bed and mattress, fire life safety equipment and air conditioning and heating. The shelters provide additional privacy and protection from the elements, making participants more comfortable as they work with their case managers to receive the supportive and medical services available to them on campus.

“Brentwood School is a longstanding partner in the VA’s mission to support our nation’s veterans,” said Gennifer Yoshimaru, assistant head of Brentwood School. “We are thrilled to provide tiny shelters for an additional 20 veterans participating in [the initiative], particularly in time for the holidays.

“We have worked closely with veterans experiencing homelessness in our community over the past several years, including providing regular meals to veterans participating in the CTRS initiative, and we hope that having a shelter — even a tiny one — will serve as a launching pad to help these 20 veterans get their health and their lives back on track,”

The CTRS team continues to prioritize veterans for tiny shelter occupancy, based off their participation in the program, clinical need, housing voucher status and housing goals. Veterans can walk up to participate in the program or be referred by VA staff. The VA also performs regular outreach to unsheltered veterans around the greater Los Angeles area, helping to connect them to housing options and other VA services. The first three shelters, provided by AyZar Outreach and Ian Musa, arrived at the West L.A. campus Oct. 6, and an additional 25 shelters, provided by Village for Vets and Change Reaction, arrived Oct. 29.

If you know a homeless or at-risk Veteran who may need VA services, call the West L.A. campus Welcome Center at (310) 268-3269. Veterans in crisis should call (800) 273-8255.

To learn more about programs and services, visit www.losangeles.va.gov/ and click on health care services.


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