Six years ago, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs promised to transform its West Los Angeles medical campus into a haven for homeless veterans by creating 1,200 new affordable apartments there.
But today, only 54 of the promised units have opened, and the West LA campus still looks largely the same as it did before: 388 rambling acres with a number of working facilities including a large hospital, while other sections look more like a horror movie set, with vacant and rundown institutional buildings.
Meanwhile, just outside one wall of the enclosed campus, unhoused military veterans have popped up a large tent camp in the tony Brentwood area, where celebrities like Vice President Kamala Harris own homes. They call it Veterans Row.
Now, U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough is promising to revive plans for the West LA property and make it a model for ending veteran homelessness.