The Veterans Row encampment in West Los Angeles, with its tents draped with American flags, along San Vincente, included about 50 tents.
On Nov. 1, the homeless veterans picked up and moved a few feet away to the other side of a fence, into a sanctioned camping ground at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center. Early Monday morning, Sheriff’s deputies, outreach workers and other officials began the process of moving the homeless to tents and tiny homes on the VA property. The veterans were offered a variety of options which included a tent camp on VA property; a tiny home village, dorms on the Westwood VA's campus and Project Homekey.
One resident of the encampment told KNX Newsradio that he was looking forward to moving onto the VA campus into structures that include running water.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
The sidewalk outside of the VA, is Federal land, and under the jurisdiction of the County of Los Angeles. The City of Los Angeles does not have jurisdiction until the middle of the street
The VA provides services only for honorably discharged Veterans.
The VA estimates there are around 4,000 homeless veterans in Los Angeles.
There are 54 units of permanent supportive housing on the VA campus. The plan is for 1,200 units to be built on the 300-acre campus, with 480 units by September 2022.
THE LOS ANGELES COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT HOST MODEL
The process is handled in three phases
Phase 1: Social services come in to meet with the encampment residents and inform them the camp will be disbanded.
Phase 2: A full assessment is performed on each individual in the camp to match them with appropriate options.
Phase 3: A public notice is posted 14 days prior to the removal of the encampment. Everyone must be gone from the camp by the date posted. On the date, the debris will be removed and the sidewalk sanitized.
“Unacceptable and we are going to get the vets on Veterans Row into housing by November. With 500 homeless vets into housing by the end of this year". ~Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough
Clearing the camp is also about safety. In the past six months, there have been multiple crime reports reported this year. At least two homicides have occurred at the encampment, the most recent in September.