VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System
VA Opens Homeless Housing Project on West LA Campus
June 4, 2015
A project intimately aligned with VA’s goal of ending Veteran Homelessness
LOS ANGELES - Veterans are moving into a new housing unit on the VA West Los Angeles Medical Center campus (WLA) as VA opens a new compensated work therapy and transitional residence housing unit for chronically homeless veterans. Today, Secretary Bob McDonald and officials from the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System welcome Veterans to Building 209 with a Grand Opening and Ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Building 209 is a $20 million facility that provides on-site training and supportive services to help Veterans transition to independent living. The 51,500 square feet renovation project modernized 55 residential units using a mix of single and double occupancy units. The three-story building is designed to include a secure reception area, a multipurpose room that may host yoga, tai chi, and healthy living classes, a kitchen where Veterans can learn to cook, and an internet café. The renovation also includes a wing designated for female Veterans undergoing treatment, which can be expanded as needed and has direct access to a beautiful garden.
“The facility is so beautiful, and some of the rooms have ocean views,” said Bill Daniels, Homelessness Consultant to the Chief of Staff for the VAGLAHS. “But as beautiful as it is, it’s really a working environment, and this facility is going to help our Veterans move to a higher level of independence and self-sufficiency. It’s going to be a real model for the entire VA.”
Establishing a sense of community was a primary driver throughout the design process. Each floor was organized around the concept of a neighborhood, where the central corridor is equated to a main avenue, and branching corridors to streets. Park-like areas for socialization were designed at the intersections to further the sense of community and encourage social interaction.
This is the first of three such homeless Veteran housing renovations coming to the WLA campus. Buildings 208 and 205, who sit adjacent to building 209, will also be transformed into therapeutic supportive housing. Several more historic buildings will receive seismic upgrades and other significant renovations.
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