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Housing and Homelessness

Outreach Workers Begin Relocating Unhoused People Living On 'Veterans Row' In West LA

A sign for the Veterans Affairs Medical Center with hospital building in the background.
The VA West Los Angeles Medical Center on the Veterans Administration campus in West L.A.
(Libby Denkman
/
LAist)
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Sheriff's deputies and outreach workers on Monday began cleaning up a homeless encampment known as "Veterans Row." The encampment has been growing along a stretch of San Vicente Blvd. alongside the West L.A. Veterans Affairs campus.

Now, the goal is to move all the people living there off the streets and into tiny houses, motels or secure tents on the VA’s site.

Emma Spaulding, Public Affairs Specialist for the Department of Veterans Affairs, says that of the 33 unhoused veterans, "the overwhelming majority, almost 90%, have accepted VA services."

Anthony Allman is executive director of Vets Advocacy, a nonprofit group that's developing a master plan for housing veterans there.

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“County officials have been acting pretty respectful of the veterans on Veterans Row with regard to what they had to do to clear the encampment,” said Allman. “But also at the same time respect the rights of individuals who were living there.”

U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough vowed to find everyone temporary housing after visiting the area last month. But Allman says it’s not just about a roof over peoples’ heads — they need services and community asking, “How do we create an environment in which veterans choose to stay on campus?”

In August, teams from the U.S. Veterans Affairs Department met with homeless advocates and veterans in West L.A. With the feedback they received, a plan was created to provide regular shuttle service from the encampment to the VA Welcome Center. There, unhoused veterans can receive information on how to access housing support, substance abuse programs, job readiness and medical services.

For those seeking more information, call the WLA Campus Welcome Center at (310) 268-3269

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