Kevin Powell said he has been living outside the West LA VA Medical Center for years. Powell said sometimes services are slow and he’s had trouble getting help from the VA.
Some other veterans said housing and other services are available, but many veterans are not willing to change their lifestyle.
Other veterans said it’s not so easy for a person to change after being through the psychological beating that comes with experiencing combat.
I asked Powell to take me inside the VA to anonymously watch how he was treated.
Inside we saw Powell’s counselor, who offered him help off the street whenever he was ready. Powell also met with a doctor to talk about his mental health and any medication he needed.
VA staff also gave both of us a hygiene kit and sandwiches.
So I asked Powell what’s the problem.
Powell said sometimes the programs that the VA offers can be worse than being homeless. Some of the housing being offered would lock him in to a terrible situation. But he also admitted he has not even asked which programs would be available to him.
Many of the other veterans who stopped by to check on Powell and other homeless ‘brothers’ during their visit say when a person’s ready to get off the street, the VA can be used to help.