VA Deal to House Homeless Los Angeles Veterans

An army of volunteers fans across greater Los Angeles to count the homeless — and more than 1 in 10 is a veteran. Los Angeles has long had the largest population of homeless veterans in the country, even though many get a cool reception. It wasn't always that way. In 1888, 300 acres of land were given to the federal government "to be permanently maintained as a National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers." A VA facility was established, but much of what the site, which eventually became 387 acres, was leased to outside interests having nothing to do with veterans. In 2011, the veterans and their attorney, Ron Olson, filed a class action lawsuit to force the federal government to honor the original deed. Two weeks ago, the new Veterans Affairs secretary, Robert McDonald, announced a deal to settle the lawsuit and a plan to end homelessness among veterans in Los Angeles County. The two sides moved from adversaries to potential partners in a matter of weeks.

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