LOS ANGELES — Efforts by the Department of Veterans Affairs to revitalize the West Los Angeles veterans campus into a vibrant and sustainable community has taken another key step forward.
On June 8, a team comprised of HOK, a global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm; Walsh Group and Core Companies, was selected to assist the department and the community in developing a new master plan for the West L.A. campus.
HOK has extensive global experience with strategic medical campus and facility planning projects. Their work includes projects in Southern California over the past 30 years, including involvement in a recent project at the Veterans Affairs’s Long Beach Healthcare System.
With the announcement of an urban planning firm selected, the Department of Veterans Affairs is on schedule to develop and release a new master plan by Oct. 16. That deadline was reflected in a January principles agreement that dedicates the West L.A. campus to serving veterans in need and created a new partnership for ending homelessness among veterans in the greater Los Angeles area.
“We will transform the West L.A. VA campus into a vibrant community where all veterans can receive health care, benefits, employment and other supportive services which they deserve and to which they are entitled,” said Vincent Kane, senior advisor to VA Secretary Robert McDonald on homelessness. “As we develop the details of that necessary goal through the master plan, the input we receive from all of our stakeholders and the community will be absolutely vital to charting our path forward.
“With the new team assisting in this effort, we are one step closer to achieving a gold standard of care, support, convenience and customer service at the VA West L.A. Medical Center.”
The master plan will reflect the department’s intent to use the campus in a veteran-centric manner going forward. That will mean quality care, services and benefits provided directly to veterans, including permanent supportive housing, particularly for chronically homeless, severely disabled, female, and aging veterans, Kane said.
The vision also includes planning for significant and adequate levels of permanent supportive housing, time limited “bridge” and transitional housing on the West L.A. campus along with short-term treatment services that can provide state-of-the-art primary care, mental health and addiction services to veterans.
Over the next three months, through a series of focus groups and surveys, Veterans Affairs will solicit feedback, comments and input from veterans, as well as federal, state, and local stakeholders, veterans service organizations, faith-based and charitable organizations, and community partners, to gain perspectives and vital information that will shape the master plan, Kane said.