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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Westside Neighborhood Council Members Team Up To Assist Homeless Veterans

By Casey Truit

A “safe parking” program for the West Los Angeles Veterans Administration (VA) Campus was approved this week by the Veterans Administration to  serve veterans with vehicles.  It will be the first-of-its-kind “safe parking”  project and will start with a pilot program

A task force was started last month to work directly with the Veterans Administration.  The group consisted of chairman Jay Handel of the West LA Neighborhood Council, co-chairman William Hawkins of the Venice Neighborhood Council, co-chairman Marcie Polier from the West LA based non-profit “Village for Vets” and Dr. Scott Sale from the Mid-City West Neighborhood Council who is also the director of the program “Safe Parking LA.”

The pilot program will start with ten homeless veterans and with the hope that it will ultimately serve up to 200 homeless veterans. 

This safe parking program is designed to provide a secure place for homeless veterans to safely sleep on the VA campus and will also provide bathrooms, showers, hot meals as well as on-site VA caseworkers who will assist veterans in finding permanent housing solutions and medical care. 

The program will be administrated by Mid-City West Neighborhood Council member Dr. Scott Sale and his non-profit group Safe Parking LA which recently launched a similar program in Koreatown. Funding for this program came from private organzations as well as receiving some financial assistance from LA Supervisor Sheila Kuehl.

“As the son of WWII veteran and the grandson of a WWI veteran,  I couldn’t be prouder to have been a part of this amazing team to help assist our brave veterans,” said Will Hawkins.

“This just proves that the volunteers serving on neighborhood councils have the ability to go beyond playing just an advisory role and can actually organize to take action and make a direct impact on what happens here in our communities.  

“I know Jay Handal has been a big supporter of our veterans and has been working on trying to get a program like this done for many years. I’m looking forward to working with this great team of local area neighborhood council members to identify more locations on the westside and specifically here in Venice to help even more people get off the street. I learned a lot working with Scott, Marcie and Jay and this is just yet another great example of how local neighborhood councils are making a positive difference in our communities.” 

A launch date for the program will be announced in the next few weeks. In the meantime you can find out more about safe parking at: www.safeparkingla.org

And more information on “Village for Vets” can be found here: www.villageforvets.org


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