Governor and his first partner visit VA campus and meet with California veterans

WHAT TO KNOW: Governor Newsom and First Partner Siebel Newsom toured a new supportive housing site: meeting with California veterans and VA leaders at the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Campus.

LOS ANGELES – Highlighting the historic investments made in behavioral health and veteran housing resources, Governor Gavin Newsom and First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom toured a new supportive housing site on the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs campus and they met with California veterans who are receiving services.

These services, like housing, have led homeless California veterans experiencing behavioral health challenges to successfully move into stable, permanent housing with accessible and affordable services and care for them.

“Our veterans risked their lives to serve our country, now we must serve them in return. Too many veterans cannot escape the front lines, even here on the home front, and because of that, we have lost many of these heroes to suicide, while many more struggle with other physical and behavioral health issues,” the governor said. Newsom. “California is building an accessible network of resources for veterans and their families as we tackle the deadly stigma around mental health that isolates and endangers so many of our heroes. We are home to the nation’s largest veteran population, who deserve to be connected, respected and protected.”

“Veterans and their families make tremendous sacrifices, both physical and mental in their heroic service to our country,” said Senior Partner Siebel Newsom. “It is essential that we honor and support them by making sure that their needs, especially those related to mental health, are met when they return home. As we remember and honor the service members we have lost, I am proud that California has remained steadfast, through policy and investment, in our commitment to the veterans who call this state home.”

“As Memorial Day approaches, we honor our fallen, those who gave their lives in the service of our nation,” said Under Secretary Russell Atterberry. “We also remember your sacrifices in caring for the veterans still with us. California is creating more housing for veterans and investing in behavioral health services to ensure the well-being of our veterans and their families.”

California is home to 1.6 million veterans, the most in the nation. Investments from Governor Newsom led CalVet to expand veteran-focused programs, particularly comprehensive behavioral and mental health services like those offered at the West Los Angeles VA campus.

Key Behavioral Health Programs for California Veterans

  • California Veterans Health Initiative (CVHI): $50 million investment to coordinate state, local and community resources to expand education and outreach efforts, while we work to increase capacity so we can serve all of our veterans in need.

  • Veterans Homeless and Housing Prevention Program (VHHP): Projects are required to provide on-site support services including intensive case management, mental and physical health care, benefits counseling and advocacy, education and employment services, life skills training, and peer support: an additional investment of $100 million.

  • Veterans Self Sufficiency Support Pilot Program: $25 million to help California’s most vulnerable veterans with the opportunity to age-in-place by establishing a baseline of service that will allow them to have stable, independent housing.

  • Behavioral Health Services Program: $1.27 million in ongoing funding to help County Veterans Services Offices (CVSOs) improve and expand mental health services through projects that collaborate with the existing community care system.

  • California Transition Assistance Program (CALTAP): Provides in-person and virtual trainings to service members, veterans, and their families across the state.

  • Behavioral Health in California Veterans Homes: California’s eight Veterans Homes have hired additional clinical social workers, psychologists and psychiatrists to ensure behavioral health staffing is commensurate with the needs of current and future residents.