Governor and First Partner Visit VA Campus, 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 leadership at the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Campus.

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

These services, such as housing, have led to unhoused California veterans experiencing behavioral health challenges successfully moving into stable, permanent housing with accessible and affordable services and care for them.

“Our veterans put their lives on the line to serve our country, now we need to serve them in return. Too many veterans can’t escape the battlefront, even here on the home front – and because of that, we have lost too many of these heroes to suicide, while many more struggle with other behavioral and physical health concerns,” said Governor Newsom. “California is building an accessible network of resources for veterans and their families, while 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 population of veterans, who all deserve to be connected, respected, and protected.”

“Veterans and their families make tremendous sacrifices, both physically and mentally in heroic service to our country,” said First Partner Siebel Newsom. “It is essential that we honor and support them by ensuring their needs, especially related to mental health, are met when they come home. As we remember and pay tribute to servicemembers we’ve lost, I’m proud that California has remained steadfast, through policies and investments, 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 service to our nation,” said Undersecretary Russell Atterberry. “We also remember their sacrifices by caring for the veterans who are 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. Governor Newsom’s investments led to CalVet expanding programs focused on veterans, 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 amplify education and outreach efforts, while working to increase capacity so we can serve all our veterans in need.

  • Veterans Housing and Homelessness Prevention Program (VHHP): Projects are required to provide onsite supportive services which include 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 Support to Self-Reliance 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 enable them in stable, independent housing.

  • Behavioral Health Services Program: $1.27 million in ongoing funding to assist County Veterans Service Offices (CVSOs) in enhancing and expanding mental health services through projects that collaborate with the existing community-based system of care.

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

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