Rep. Waxman’s remarks are available below:
I am delighted to join the US Department of Veterans Affairs and the California Department of Veterans Affairs as they announce an innovative collaboration called the Veterans Transitional Housing Program.
This program will take 84 empty beds in the State Home behind us and convert them into Domiciliary Independent Living Units. These beds have been set aside to house veterans that have been homeless and need services to prepare them for returning to the community. While they are living at the Home, they will be provided medical care, case management, employment services, and mental health care. The goal is to restore the veteran’s health and well-being so that they can reintegrate into our communities.
Veterans who will benefit from this program consist of those that have previously been homeless, have completed a VA program, and are now in need of continued services prior to returning to their communities. A full continuum of services will be provided to the residents so that they may successfully transition.
I want to commend the federal and state governments for achieving this partnership. It required flexibility, leadership, and thinking outside of the box. As we all know, the formula is simple: identify veterans’ needs and fill them. But too often we hear about the hurdles and explanations for why our veterans cannot be served.
As we stand here today, I urge the federal and state departments of veterans affairs to develop other collaborations so that limited resources can be leveraged to their greatest extent.
As for my recent work, I was pleased this summer to secure a number of pledges from Secretary Shinseki to address homelessness in Los Angeles and I look forward to their swift implementation. Late last week, I lead and sent a California delegation letter to Governor Brown urging him to sign a critical bill that will shift 600 million dollars into a fund to provide multifamily housing to veterans. I also wrote to Secretary Shinseki asking him to strongly consider accepting the recent court ruling so he can lead his agency into developing more collaboration like what we are seeing today. You can count on me to continue to monitor the VA to see that it delivers the full range of services our veterans have earned.
I want to congratulate the federal and state VAs again and commend them for this terrific program.