June 09, 2011
JFAV SUPPORTS AMVETS/ACLU CLASS SUIT VS DVA
Los Angeles--The Justice for Filipino American Veterans (JFAV) wholeheartedly supports the class-action lawsuit filed Wednesday on behalf of four homeless veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and other ailments, the ACLU claims that the department is violating the property's deed by not providing the combination of housing and treatment that battle-scarred vets need.
According to the LA Times: “ The lawsuit is just the latest attempt by advocates for homeless vets to light a fire under the federal government. “The JFAV also filed a lawsuit against the DVA for denying more than 27,00 Filipino World War II veterans of their lump sum claims and their widows last year.
Two Reasons for the Class Action Suit vs DVA
The ACLU's lawsuit also targets two outrages. “ One is that about a third of the VA's West Los Angeles acreage is being leased to a car rental company, a private school, a hotel laundry service and other groups with no connection to veterans”.
The second is “ that the elimination of long-term housing on the site has prevented the most severely disabled homeless veterans from being treated effectively. The ACLU contends that the VA is refusing to make the "reasonable accommodations" that federal law requires, and seeks an injunction forcing the VA to provide permanent supportive housing for those veterans.”
LA, the Homeless Capital
Los Angeles has more homeless people than any other city in the nation, and among them, more homeless veterans — an estimated 7,000 on any given day. Los Angeles is considered the “homeless capital of the United States with more than 30,000 homeless.
The LA Times article also pointed out: “The city also has a sprawling Department of Veterans Affairs treatment facility for former servicemen and women, located on a 387-acre compound in West Los Angeles. Now, the American Civil Liberties Union has gone to court to force the VA to put more of that acreage to use for homeless veterans.
Veterans are 50% more likely to become homeless than the average American, and homeless vets account for nearly 20% of the people living on the streets and in shelters in L.A. John P. Jones, one of the founders of Santa Monica, and Arcadia B. de Baker would probably be dumbfounded and mortified by those statistics.
The pair donated the land to the federal government in 1888 to be the site for the Pacific Branch Soldier's Home for disabled vets, and tens of thousands of them were housed there over the next 80 years. In the 1960s, however, the federal government started phasing out the housing on the site; now the only long-term housing there is in a nursing home. “
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