CONGRESSMAN LIEU COMMENDS THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS FOR HOSTING A HOMELESS VETERANS TOWN HALL
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LOS ANGELES, CA – Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D | Los Angeles) expressed his thanks to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for hosting a community-wide Homeless Veteran Town Hall. The Town Hall was held in the Wadsworth Theater located on the West LA VA campus. It was well attended by veterans, community members, providers and interested parties. The Town Hall focused on the steps the VA has taken during the first 100 days since the release of “Veterans Homelessness Strategy and Action Plan for Greater Los Angeles: Key Strategies.”
Vince Kane, the Special Assistant to VA Secretary McDonald, led a panel of experts as they reported on a number of positive developments. The VA has hired a number of additional VA Supportive Housing (VASH) teams to case manage Veterans, allowing the VA to utilize an influx of valuable HUD-VASH vouchers. Increased funding for Supportive Services for Veterans Families (SSVF) is also aiding families at risk of homelessness. In addition, VA is working with the City of Los Angeles and County of Los Angeles to encourage landlords to accept housing vouchers. In addition to implementing the Action Plan, the VA accepted bids earlier this month to engage an Urban Planner to develop a Master Plan by mid-October. The plan will focus on how best to use and improve the services and programs on the West LA VA. Robust input from Veterans and the community will be the cornerstone of this process.
“I am delighted to learn of the significant progress being made by the VA in this short period of time”, said Congressman Lieu. “We clearly have the commitment of Secretary McDonald and Special Assistant Vince Kane to tackle this problem. The focus on homelessness among Veterans in Los Angeles could not come at a better time. The release this week of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) 2015 Homeless Count indicates that homelessness among Veterans has remained flat over the last two years. The count reports that Los Angeles has 4,391 homeless female and male Veterans as compared to 4,243 in 2013. We must do all we can to bring that number down dramatically and with great intent. I stand ready to assist Veterans and the VA in Congress. Should regulations or legislation be needed, I will take the lead on that effort. The VA’s progress is admirable and my expectation is that they will follow-through so our homeless Veterans will finally have homes.”