More Than 1,200 Homeless Vets Living on L.A. Streets Still Need Housing

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Richard Rodriguez, 82, a homeless, disabled veteran, receives a backpack and dinner at a veterans’ welcome center in Los Angeles in October 2016. (Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

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More than 1,200 veterans are living on Los Angeles streets, thwarting Mayor Eric Garcetti’s repeated pledges to end the city’s soaring rates of veteran homelessness, officials said Thursday.

Faced with the highest number of homeless veterans of any city in the nation, Garcetti had promised to find housing for every homeless resident who served in the military, first by the end of 2015 and then by last summer.

An unprecedented infusion of federal rent vouchers and services has helped place more than 8,000 veterans in homes in greater Los Angeles since January 2014. Still, four to five service members, including those returning from troop drawdowns in the Middle East, land on L.A. streets each day, Garcetti said.

His comments came during a downtown news conference and panel discussion with U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald.

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