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Experts weigh in on Calif. senators' plan to bring homeless vets into West LA campus

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 24:  U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald delivers a statement and answers reporters' questions outside of his department's headquarters February 24, 2015 in Washington, DC. McDonald has apologized for misrepresenting his military record by telling a homeless veteran in California that he had served in the U.S. Special Forces. McDonald was an elite Army Ranger and served in the 82nd Airborne Division but did not serve in a special operations regiment.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald delivers a statement and answers reporters' questions outside of his department's headquarters February 24, 2015 in Washington, DC.

A proposal was introduced this morning toward the goal of providing homeless veterans with housing at the West Los Angeles campus of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

A proposal was introduced this morning by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) toward the goal of providing homeless veterans with housing at the West Los Angeles campus of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The two California Senators, along with Representative Ted Lieu, sent a letter to the House and Senate Veterans Affairs committees detailing their proposal.

Their plan would mainly give the VA power to lease space to nonprofit groups that work with veterans in Los Angeles County, specifically to address the issue of housing. Los Angeles has the largest population of homeless military veterans in the country.

This proposal is part of a larger package of bills the House and Senate Veterans Affairs committee will consider in September. It comes amidst a larger conversation in Southern California about how to revamp the VA’s West Los Angeles campus.

Here is the VA statement on the legislation:



We appreciate congressional support with this needed legislation and look forward to working closely with congress and other Veterans stakeholders on its implementation.  This legislation, if passed, will greatly enhance our ability to end Veteran homelessness in Greater Los Angeles.  Working collaboratively with our partners at all levels of government and the private sector is an important step to providing Veterans with the best care possible in the most timely way.

The Los Angeles Homeless Veterans Leasing Act of 2015

Guests:

Martha Groves, staff writer at the Los Angeles Times who covers the Westside, which includes the West Los Angeles Department of Veteran Affairs campus. Her piece on the new proposal is in today's Los Angeles times.  She tweets @MarthaGroves

Gregory Scott, President and CEO of New Directions for Veterans, an organization that provides comprehensive services to thousands of veterans in LA County

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