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More Property Owners Than Veterans Benefit From $5M L.A. County Homelessness Program: Report

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Homeless veteran Kendrick Bailey keeps cool inside his tent on a street corner near skid row in downtown Los Angeles. (Credit: AFP / Getty Images)

A $5-million program to assist homeless veterans has helped only 268 get off the streets over 18 months, according to a recent Los Angeles County civil grand jury report — in part because a $1.2-million contract to provide interim shelter has been delayed for nearly a year.

Homes for Heroes, a county program funded by the federal government, provides interim shelter to veterans and pays for move-in costs and minor repairs for landlords who agree to rent to ex-service members. But from January 2016 to June 2017, the report said, the program has helped more property owners, 363, than it has veterans.

The “bridge” housing contract was put out to bid by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority in September, but the agency had not reached agreement with providers by the time the report — which was released in late June — was prepared, the grand jury said.

Tom Waldman, spokesman for the homeless services authority, said the contract process began in November and the agency reached agreement in April with a provider to house eight veterans.

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