VAGLAHS Announces First Tiny Shelters Delivered to VA West LA Campus for Homeless Veterans

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE         
October 12, 2021          

LOS ANGELES – On Wednesday, October 6, three tiny shelters were delivered to the VA’s West Los Angeles campus and placed on asphalt pavement recently installed in anticipation of their arrival.  The shelters came fully equipped and ready for occupancy, complete with a bed and mattress, fire life safety equipment, and air conditioning and heating.

The VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System (VAGLAHS) is currently transitioning a portion of its current Care, Treatment and Rehabilitative Services (CTRS) initiative from tenting to tiny shelters.  Asphalt pavement has been installed to support up to 60-70 tiny shelters for Veterans who are experiencing homelessness. The area, which is bordered by San Vicente Boulevard to the southwest and Wilshire Boulevard to the southeast, is the current site of the CTRS initiative, a low-barrier-to-entry outreach program that provides homeless Veteran participants a safe, clean, designated tented living area and regular access to medical care, behavioral health services, and housing services on campus.

“VA would like to thank non-profit organizations AyZar Outreach and Inner-City Law Center for their partnership in bringing these tiny shelters to West Los Angeles campus.  The tiny shelters are an important addition to the CTRS initiative,” said Dr. Steven Braverman, Director, VAGLAHS.

The Community Engagement and Reintegration Service (CERS), which oversees this initiative and all other programming for homeless Veterans in the Greater Los Angeles area, is implementing policies to assign interested Veterans experiencing homelessness to these shelters. VA is concurrently working with partners to secure the delivery of additional shelters over the coming days.

“AyZar Outreach is committed to serving those in need and is very pleased to be part of this important initiative to provide homeless Veterans another stable, clean, and comfortable living option on the VA WLA Campus.  Our sincere hope is that the shelters will provide its occupants a stable launching pad from which to begin their journey to health and fulfillment,” said Shirin Zarkesh, Founder and CEO, AyZar Outreach.

If you know a homeless or at-risk Veteran who could use VA services, call the WLA Campus Welcome Center at (310) 268-3269.  Veterans in crisis should call 1 (800) 273-8255 and press 1.

For any media queries, please contact the VAGLAHS Office of Public Affairs at (310) 268-3340 or at VHAGLAPublicAffairs@va.gov.  Media interested in covering the story of the tiny shelters may call to arrange for a tour and interview with a VA employee who works with our CTRS initiative.

ABOUT VAGLAHS: VAGLAHS is one component of the VA Desert Pacific Healthcare Network (VISN22) offering services to Veterans residing in Southern California.  VAGLAHS consists of two ambulatory care centers, a tertiary care facility and eight community-based outpatient clinics.  VAGLAHS serves Veterans residing throughout five counties: Kern, Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura.  There are approximately 1.4 million Veterans in the VAGLAHS service area.  For more information, call (310) 268-3340 or visit us at www.losangeles.va.gov.  Veterans in need can call the VA hotline toll-free at 877-4-AID-VET.    

ABOUT AYZAR OUTREACH: AyZar Outreach is a California non-profit organization with a mission to help level the playing field for those in need and positively impact deserving lives in ways that wield lasting impact.  For more information about AyZar Outreach, visit ayzaroutreach.org.

ABOUT INNER CITY LAW CENTER: Inner City Law Center (ICLC) is a non-profit poverty-law firm serving the poorest and most vulnerable residents of Los Angeles.  ICLC is committed to fighting for justice for individuals experiencing homelessness, low-income tenants, working-poor families, immigrants, people living with HIV/AIDS or other disabilities, and homeless Veterans.  The only legal services provider located in Skid Row, ICLC advocates for equitable housing policies and provides legal services to prevent and end homelessness.  For more information about ICLC, visit innercitylaw.org.

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