Los Angeles Streets sees Fewer Homeless Veterans
The results of this year’s homeless count in Los Angeles were released on June 1, and they definitely point toward positive results for veterans. According to Los Angeles’s annual point-in-time homeless count, the veteran homeless population has declined 18 percent compared to last year’s count. It turned out that last year’s veteran homeless count was not as high as initially reported, but it did serve as a call to action for the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. One of the things the VA did was increase funding for a program that provides 90-day emergency housing for veterans. Heidi Marston, the director of Community Engagement and Reintegration at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center told KPCC,
This year’s point in time count and the decrease really spoke to the hard work that was being done.
In Los Angeles, the VA also recently partnered with the Safe Parking LA, a nonprofit founded in 2016, to provide 10 parking spaces for homeless veterans, among other spots available throughout Los Angeles County. The organization provides individuals with a safe place to park each night, restroom access, a security guard, and social service resources. There are also veterans that are actively trying to help homeless veterans get the assistance they need, such as 39-year-old Army veteran Jesse Henderson. He did two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan, but now Henderson is an outreach worker for U.S.VETS that tries to connect homeless veterans with support resources, including transitional housing, offered by the nonprofit. Hopefully more homeless veterans are able to get off the streets and more programs are created to help them.