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Feinstein, Waxman, Yaroslavsky Announce Additional Services for Homeless Veterans in Los Angeles

U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein

Representative Henry A. Waxman (D-Los Angeles) and Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky announced that Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki has made a commitment to fund and support an array of services to help homeless veterans in Los Angeles starting in the next month.

At a meeting this week in Senator Feinstein’s Washington office, attended by Feinstein, Waxman and Yaroslavsky, Secretary Shinseki announced that he has directed the Department to expand housing vouchers for homeless veterans, increase medical outreach workers and have a dedicated homeless center at the West Los Angeles VA facility.

Senator Feinstein said, “More than 6,000 veterans in Los Angeles are homeless on any given night.  Candidly, this is a disgrace and a chronic problem that we can do something about.  The VA made a commitment to increase support services to these veterans, and I intend to hold them to that commitment.  Our nation’s veterans need to know they have our unwavering support and that starts with access to the services they need when they return home.”

Representative Henry A. Waxman

Congressman Waxman said, “Secretary Shinseki showed a sincere desire to turn the crisis of veteran homelessness in Los Angeles around.  He has committed to ending veteran homelessness by 2015 and it simply cannot be done without a good strategy for the chronically homeless.  He is putting real weight into this fight.”

Supervisor Yaroslavsky said, “Secretary Shinseki’s decision to scale up services to chronically homeless veterans in Los Angeles is the single most significant development in years. This unprecedented investment will allow us to house and treat more than ten times as many homeless vets in the next two years than we did over the last two.  This is huge.”

Los Angeles County has the largest populations of homeless veterans in the nation—an estimated 6,291 homeless veterans sleep on the streets every night.  Senator Feinstein, Representative Waxman, and Supervisor Yaroslavsky have made providing long-term therapeutic housing for chronically homeless veterans a priority in the Southern California region.  The VA’s announcement on increasing an array of services represents significant progress.

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