Pilot Program Allows Homeless Vets to Live in Tents on VA Property

WEST LOS ANGELES – Service and sacrifice were principles instilled in Ryan Higgins at a young age, so when he was old enough, he joined the United States Navy.

“I was sworn in by my father. And after boot camp with the Navy, I got orders from the Marine Corps and I did most of my time with 1/5, 2/5, 3/5 with the Marine Corps,” said Higgins.

He served as a combat medic from 1999 to 2004. His veteran friends around here call him ‘Doc.’ 

But for the last five years, PTSD and drug use have kept him shuffling back and forth between social programs and homelessness.

“You gotta keep a good sense of humor,” Higgins said. “You gotta laugh. You gotta laugh, or you’re gonna cry.”

Even so, he’s not doing so bad. He has a roof, he sleeps on a cot, and he has his books and plants to keep him company. 

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