Make a Difference for Homeless Veterans (July 18, 2013)

Los Angeles County has long been considered the homeless capital of the nation. That’s a sad distinction we need to change.

There are more than 9,000 veterans who are homeless on our streets. This is a shameful fact. These veterans have already sacrificed much. But when they return home, too often they lack the support network they need to move forward with their lives.

What’s more, the Federal government has failed veterans with a complicated and time-consuming benefits system that is badly backlogged on providing benefits. It takes months for basic claims to be processed. More must be done – and done more quickly – to reform the Department of Veterans Affairs and streamline the benefits process.

The politicians are claiming to be working on improving the benefits delivery system for veterans. But in the meantime, there is an opportunity for us as average citizens to make a difference right now for the most disadvantaged of our veterans.

The United Way of Greater Los Angeles has launched a special program to dramatically reduce the number of homeless in LA County, and the number of homeless veterans in particular. Their Home for Good program seeks to end the problem, not simply manage it.

I urge you to visit the website for the United Way to learn more and consider making a donation to this worthwhile effort: http://www.unitedwayla.org/our-work/housing-stability/

Working together, we can do right by our veterans.