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Morning Brief: Housing LA’s Veterans

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Good morning, L.A.

For Angelenos without housing, the pandemic has exacerbated existing problems and created new ones. Crowded shelters, little access to clean water and the shuttering of formerly safe indoor spaces mean that they face an exorbitantly higher risk of exposure to the coronavirus, and few places to rest or recoup from daily challenges.

So when a new facility that would have provided housing to homeless veterans burned to the ground in September, it was a loss that hit the community hard.

"Four years worth of work just burned down in a matter of hours," said Manuel Bernal, president of the nonprofit affordable housing developer East LA Community Corporation.

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My colleague Robert Garrova reports that the facility, located at the intersection of 1st Street and Rowan Avenue in East L.A. and named Nuevo Amanecer, would have offered 30 units to veterans, and low-income housing for others in the community. Residents were expected to begin moving in at the end of the year.

It’s a loss that highlights the desperate need for rooms for people experiencing homelessness, and in particular, for veterans.

"I know veterans who have died on the streets," said John Williams, a formerly homeless ex-marine. "They never made it off."

Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A. today, and stay safe out there.

Jessica P. Ogilvie

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