Until now, Navy veteran Scott Baty has been living in a tent in a Los Angeles homeless encampment nicknamed “Veteran’s Row.”
He is now one of many military veterans who get to move to a better location.
“Oh, we’re happy about it,” Baty said. “Get out of here and get somewhere safe. I was assaulted maybe eight times out here, slugged in the face, knocked out. It hasn’t been fun.”
Baty and about 40 other vets who have lived on the street are being moved onto property owned by the Veterans Administration.
They will still be sleeping in tents, but the area has more security, plus regular access to food, showers, and VA services.
Baty says he’s grateful just to move within the VA’s gates.
“I’m happy to get inside of there, and then my social worker has lined up an apartment for me down the street. So if that goes through then, I’ll be leaving there immediately and going into my apartment.”
According to Sennett Devermont from the Always for the People Foundation, letting the veterans sleep on their large lawn is the least the VA can do.
“It’s three times the size of Disneyland, and it gets a lot of funding, as we all know,” he notes. “So, how is it possible we have homeless veterans dying in the street?”
According to Darryl Joseph from Veterans Affairs Community Engagement and Reintegration, getting unhoused vets off the streets has taken a little bit of time.
“We have been working diligently to get each one of them housed,” he said. “Each one has a different set of needs.”
According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, over 11,400 veterans are experiencing homelessness in California alone.