Breaking News: Grand Opening for a Project Benefiting Formerly Homeless Veterans Supportive Permanent Housing for LA Veterans

LOS ANGELES – VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System (VAGLAHS) in collaboration with New Directions for Veterans (NDVets) and A Community of Friends (ACOF) will host a grand opening ceremony for the Sepulveda Ambulatory Care Center (SACC) Buildings 4 and 5, on Sept. 27 at 10:00 a.m.  Buildings 4 and 5, also known as New Directions Sepulveda I & II, will provide permanent supportive housing for 147 formerly homeless, disabled and low-income Veterans.

“We are excited to work with our community partners (ACOF and NDVets) to end homelessness amongst Veterans,” said Donna Beiter, Director VAGLAHS.  “Renovation of Buildings 4 and 5 is a prime example of how VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, in collaboration with local community partners can help Los Angeles Veterans exit homelessness by providing independent and supportive housing.”

Services available to residents include health enhancement groups, vocational and educational programs, daily life skills, mental health counseling and goal support, substance abuse recovery and independent living skills.

President and CEO of New Directions for Veterans Gregory C. Scott, came on board with the non-profit organization two-years ago and wasted no time finding housing opportunities for homeless Veterans in the community.

“I knew that getting these buildings renovated, and open, and filled with Veterans was high on my agenda.  What I didn’t realize was what great partners NDVets has in A Community of Friends and of course, the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System.”

Despite the complexity of working with a three-way partnership and multiple layers of funding and lines of authority, the project merited the effort.

“The benefits to Veterans made it all worthwhile.  I am confident – absolutely confident – that our partnering agencies feel the same way.  Our tagline at NDVets is ‘Putting Veterans First Since 1992’ and today I feel like we are all putting Veterans first.  And that feels great,” concluded Scott.

The buildings are for Veterans only.  Initial occupancy began in Aug 2013 and is expected to reach full tenancy by Nov. 2013.  The project amenities include a community room and onsite resident services offices, along with access to a computer room and a full commercial style kitchen with dining facility.  Buildings 4 and 5 are also environmentally friendly and features solar powered hot water heating, low flow toilets and plumbing fixtures, environmentally friendly building materials, cool roofs, permeable parking surfaces, energy star appliances and solatube natural lighting systems.

“The opening of Buildings 4 and 5 represents the fulfillment of a vision that ACOF and our partners shared of providing permanent supportive housing for homeless and disabled Veterans,” said Dora Leong Gallo, Chief Executive Officer of A Community of Friends. “We are pleased to have been instrumental in prompting national attention to the issue of homeless Veterans in the U.S. and are very proud to welcome 147 Veterans to their new homes.”

As a result of having these apartments located at SACC, Veterans will have optimum access to healthcare professionals, case management, specialized programs and mental health services in a healing, patient-centered care environment.

“VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System and our community partners are proud to serve our Nations’ heroes and we are honored to provide Veterans the best services and care they earned and deserve,” Beiter said.

About VAGLAHS:  VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System (VAGLAHS) is among the largest and most complex health care systems within the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, and consists of three ambulatory care centers, a tertiary care facility, and 10 community based outpatient clinics.  VAGLAHS provides a comprehensive continuum of care for Veterans residing through five counties: Los Angeles, Ventura, Kern, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo.  There are 1.4 million Veterans in the VAGLAHS service area.

About ACOF:  A Community of Friends (ACOF) is a regional nonprofit affordable housing developer whose mission is to end homelessness through the provision of quality permanent supportive housing for people with mental illness.  Since 1988, ACOF has completed over 1,600 units in 41 buildings in Los Angeles and Orange counties.

About NDVets: Since 1992, New Directions for Veterans has provided comprehensive services to thousands of veterans in Los Angeles County. Approximately 500 men and women seek transitional housing and services from the agency each year, and as many as 196 veterans may be in residence at one time in the agency’s four transitional facilities.  In its transitional program, New Directions for Veterans offers a wide array of services, including substance abuse treatment, job training and placement, parenting and money management classes, legal and financial assistance, counseling, remedial education and aftercare follow up.

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