California Spending Millions To House Homeless Vets

Jul 25, 2014

The Fresno Veterans Home recently opened in Southwest Fresno. (file photo)

California has $600 million in bond funds to spend on homeless veterans. As Katie Orr reports from Sacramento, public workshops are being held around the state to gather ideas about how to spend that money.

Last June voters approved using the existing bond money to provide more affordable housing for California’s 15,000 homeless vets.

Carl Frederickson drove two hours to the public workshop in Sacramento to find out if he might be eligible for money to expand his 15-bed, transitional housing facility for veterans. Frederickson did three tours in Vietnam and says there are many reasons vets end up on the streets.

Frederickson: “PTSD, or traumatic brain injuries. Some of them self-medicate with alcohol or drugs, that kind of thing. And we try to work with them to bring them back out of it and help them move forward.”

The state will allocate $75 million in the first round of spending. Right now plans call for dividing the money proportionally based on the homeless veteran population in an area. Los Angeles County has 41 percent of that population, followed by the Bay Area with about 20 percent, and San Diego County with 10 percent.