The United States doesn’t always do a good job of taking care of its veterans, and Los Angeles is no exception.
Last year, the city declared a State of Emergency after finding 4,362 veterans living on the streets. That came after LA promised to end veteran homelessness by the end 2015, a goal it abandoned after finding out just how serious the problem was.
Thanks to one very smart plan, though, things are starting to turn around.
Funded by $600 million in bond money raised by Proposition 41, the city is turning run-down and abandoned hotels and hospitals into over 500 apartments specifically for homeless veterans. Non-profit agency Step Up is helping convert the units into housing, with the new homes scheduled to be ready by January 2017.
Veterans can live in these apartments for up to 15 years free of charge, thanks to vouchers provided by the Department of Veteran Affairs.
The city hopes that with these new apartments, anyone who ever served in the United States military will have a place to go if they need one. Thanks to the efforts of this initiative, there are already some positive results – this May, the number of homeless veterans in the city had already gone down by over 1,200 to 3,071. For someone living on the street, this kind of lifeline can make an incredible difference.
Thanks to Proposition 41 and the people at Step Up, the end of veteran homelessness in Los Angeles is finally a realistic goal.
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