Press Releases

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), along with Representative Henry Waxman (D-Los Angeles) and Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, today applauded a decision by Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki to fund long-term therapeutic housing for chronically homeless veterans in Los Angeles.

At a meeting in Senator Feinstein’s Washington, DC, office on June 16, Secretary Shinseki announced that he has approved $20 million in funding to completely renovate and rehabilitate Building 209, one of three buildings on the West Los Angeles VA campus designated for homeless services.  Senator Feinstein and Secretary Shinseki were joined at the meeting by Representative Waxman and Supervisor Yaroslavsky. 

Los Angeles County has one of the largest populations of homeless veterans in the nation, with nearly 6,540 homeless veterans on the streets of the County every night.  The renovated building will provide services dedicated to helping this population.

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 represents significant progress on this issue.

“Veterans have provided a great service to our nation, and it is our responsibility to support them in return,” said Senator Feinstein. “The therapeutic housing project at the West Los Angeles VA facility offers the promise of refuge and resources for chronically homeless veterans in the region, yet it has been a long, drawn-out process to see it brought to fruition. So, I’m very encouraged by Secretary Shinseki’s pledge of $20 million to make this renovation project a reality at last. My staff and I remain committed to working with the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the offices of Representative Waxman and Supervisor Yaroslavsky as this important effort advances.”

“I want to thank Secretary Shinseki for fully funding the $20 million needed to renovate Building 209 at the West Los Angeles VA campus,” said Representative Waxman.  “This action will provide critical long-term therapeutic housing that is long overdue.”

“We so appreciate Secretary Shinseki’s commitment to house our homeless veterans who have already sacrificed so much for our nation,” Supervisor Yaroslavsky said.  “This project marks a milestone in addressing this issue.”

Once restored, Building 209 will provide critical housing, medical care, mental health treatment and special-needs services to chronically homeless veterans in Los Angeles.  The restoration project is slated to be completed by 2012.

At the meeting, Secretary Shinseki also committed to working with Senator Feinstein and Representative Waxman in the months ahead to identify additional funds to renovate buildings 205 and 208, the other two West Los Angeles VA campus buildings designated for homeless veteran housing.

“No Veteran should have to face the challenge of being homeless,” Secretary Shinseki said. “Ending Veteran homelessness is one of my top priorities and this building renovation will provide housing and to take us one step closer to achieving our goal.”