May 30, 2024 Your Source for Brentwood News

Veteran Document Day Empowers Homeless Veterans To Access Critical Services

Event Provides Essential Documents and Support for Veterans 

Veterans experiencing homelessness face a problematic situation frequently because they cannot access financial assistance or apply for subsidized housing due to a lack of proper identification. A birth certificate and valid ID are required for essential services, such as housing. Without these documents, individuals struggle to improve their lives and escape homelessness.

Recognizing this challenge, VA Greater Los Angeles recently organized Veteran Document Day at the West LA VA Welcome Center (the Community Resource and Referral Center), as reported by VA.Gov. The event provided a convenient opportunity for veterans to obtain the necessary documents to access critical services. 

On this day, according to the report, over two dozen veterans gathered in the courtyard of Building 257, eagerly awaiting their turn to meet with representatives from the DMV, LA County Registrar-Recorder’s Office, Department of Public Social Services, Social Security Administration, and local service providers. Appointments were not required. 

The veterans felt comfortable enough in the situation to socialize in the waiting room. Hefty, a veteran who qualifies for housing assistance under the HUD-VASH program, hopes to secure an apartment near Marina del Rey, which features amenities like a pool and jacuzzi to aid in his recovery from recent knee surgery at the West LA VA Medical Center. Currently residing at the West LA VA Domiciliary (DOM), a mental health residential rehabilitation treatment program, Hefty found it convenient to attend the Document Day at the Welcome Center.

Another veteran, Jesus Siqueiros, who served as a Marine during the Vietnam War, sat beside Hefty at the DOM. Siqueiros was browsing his Instagram account, showcasing his artwork and photos from a recent fishing trip. He also needed an ID to secure supportive housing. Siqueiros, who battles addiction and experiences communication difficulties due to being deaf in one ear, expressed gratitude for the presence of VA social workers at the event. 

Their guidance and assistance in communication made him feel supported and capable of navigating the process. Siqueiros believed that without their help, he would have struggled with the stress of visiting a government office independently to request his documentation. Document Day represents a collaborative effort between the VA, various federal and county agencies, and the offices of State Senator Ben Allen and LA County Supervisor Lindsey Horvath.

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