Los Angeles is home to the highest concentration of military veterans in the country, and the City plays a critical role in connecting them with services and support. In 2013, Mayor Garcetti created the Office of Veterans Affairs — the first in the City of Los Angeles since World War II — to work collaboratively with government agencies and community based organizations, and advocate for veterans across the region.


In 2018, the Mayor’s Office of Veterans Affairs expanded its scope to work with regional military leadership — including the LA Air Force Base, the USCG base in San Pedro, the Governor’s Military Council, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the National Guard — to tackle issues from disaster preparedness to key infrastructure projects.

This page serves as a portal for our veterans to find housing, employment, medical benefits and mental health services. We also encourage veterans to contact our Veterans Affairs Team at mayor.veterans@lacity.org.

Housing Our Heroes

No one who wore our country’s uniform should be sleeping on our streets. That’s why the City of Los Angeles is working tirelessly to place veterans into permanent housing. Since Mayor Garcetti took office, the City has housed more than 12,000 veterans.

  • U.S. VETS. Headquartered in L.A., U.S.VETS is on a mission to end veteran homelessness in the United States. U.S.VETS is available to offer emergency housing assistance, resources and support and can be reached at (877) 5-4USVETS or at (877) 548-7838.

  • New Directions. New Directions offers a range of services for veterans, including housing placement, substance abuse treatment, counseling, remedial education, job training, as well as parenting and money management classes.

  • PATH (People Assisting the Homeless). PATH (People Assisting the Homeless) helps  homeless veterans successfully transition from living on the street to thriving in homes of their own.

  • West LA VA. The West LA VA recently announced the selection of a master developer at its campus which will provide 1,200 units of affordable housing for our city’s veteran community. Read more here.

  • HACLA. The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) offers a range of programs for veterans, including HUD-Veteran Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) vouchers, which help house homeless veterans and their families by combining Section 8 rental assistance vouchers with case management and clinical services provided by the VA. If you are ready to buy a home, the VA home loan program or the CalVet Home Loans are available to help finance veterans’ futures.


Military Veterans Advisory Council

An active community for veterans. In 2014, Mayor Garcetti established the Military Veterans Advisory Council, which advises his administration on issues affecting the military community —from homelessness to employment for veterans. MVAC members are all residents of Los Angeles who have served or had a family member serve in the United States Armed Forces, and serve as leaders in the military community.


Charlene Downey, Owner, SeeWorthy Coaching & Consulting LLC, Captain, USCG (Ret.) (MVAC Chair) 

Charlene is an Executive Leadership Coach partnering with leaders and teams to build resilience and achieve success. She served on active duty for over 26 years and her final assignment was Sector Commander and Captain of the Port for Coast Guard Sector LA - Long Beach. She holds a BS in Management from the Coast Guard Academy and a MS in Human Resource Management from Florida Institute of Technology. She has been an MVAC member since 2020.  

 

Maribel Marin, Executive Director, 211 L.A. County (MVAC Vice Chair)

Maribel is the Executive Director of 211 LA County, a nonprofit helping close to 500,000 Angelenos access health and human services every year. She is the current President of “211 California,” the Statewide association of 211s, and serves on the State’s Aging and Disability Resource Center Advisory Committee. She has been an MVAC member since 2014. 

   

Stephen Peck, President/ CEO, U.S. VETS

Steve leads U.S. VETS, the nation’s largest non-profit agency providing housing, clinical counseling and employment assistance to at-risk and homeless veterans and families. US VETS is part of the consortium selected to develop the Master Plan on the West LA VA campus. He served as a lieutenant in the 1st Marine Division in Vietnam, and has been an MVAC member since 2014.


       

Jawana McFadden, Head of Diversity and Inclusion, North America, ByteDance/ TikTok 

Jawana is a global diversity, equity, accessibility, belonging, and inclusion change agent, with special emphasis on matters concerning Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities (IWD). She is a Captain in the United States Army National Guard and a combat veteran. She holds a B.A. from Loyola Marymount University. Jawana was recently appointed as Commissioner for the Los Angeles County Veterans’ Advisory Commission (2nd District) and has been an MVAC member since 2018.

 

       

Michael Dolphin, Executive Council, AARP California

Michael has spent 47 years of service in State and local workforce development, including serving as a member of the City’s Workforce Development Board. He has served on METRO’s Job Development and Training Task Force, and had an advisory role on the Career and Technical Education Committees of the LA Unified and the LA County Office of Education. Michael served in the US Army 1968-1968 and has been an MVAC member since 2018.

 

Jennifer Campbell, Commander, American Legion Hollywood Post 43

Jennifer is a graduate of the University of Iowa with a BA in Communications. She also earned a Master’s degree in Nutrition Education from American University, and works as Global Managing Director for a health & wellness corporation. Jennifer served in the US Army for 4 years as a truck driver. She is currently the American Legion 24th District Commander and a LA County Commissioner for Military & Veterans Affairs.  MVAC member since 2020.

 

     

Otto Padron, President and COO, Meruelo Media

Otto is a member of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce board and is also the Vice President Commissioner of the City of LA Convention Center and Tourism Development Board. He holds a double Bachelor of Science in Broadcast Communications and Economics from the University of Miami and an MBA from Florida International University. Otto retired as a Colonel in the US Army  Reserve. He has been an MVAC member since 2020.

 

            

Philip Brozenick, Public Sector Senior Industry Advisor Principal, Deloitte Consulting (retired)

Philip is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University with a Masters in Public Management. Philip is a veteran of the US Air Force, was a supporter of your 10K Strong veteran hiring campaign and a veteran’s advocate, including several pro bono veterans studies for USC CIR with the landmark State of the American Veteran Los Angeles report. He has been an MVAC member since 2020.
 


Employment For Veterans

Employment opportunities and transition skills. The men and women who served our country in uniform should come home to opportunity, not obstacles. Veterans are some of our hardest-working, most qualified people — and they should have every chance to succeed in the workplace, and make a living for themselves and their families.

That’s why, in 2014, Mayor Garcetti launched the 10,000 Strong veterans hiring initiative, and pledged to connect 10,000 veterans to gainful employment. By working with local non-profits, City WorkSource Centers, and the Employment Development Department, the initiative helps companies identify highly qualified veterans and fill open positions. The effort also assists veterans with job training geared toward helping them transition military skills to the civilian workforce.

After developing partnerships with more than 100 private and public employers — from SpaceX to LA Metro — the City surpassed its goal in 2017, and has now connected more than 12,000 veterans with jobs.

In August 2021, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced a new partnership with Microsoft to provide free tech training to veterans and encourage veterans to apply to the Los Angeles Veterans Technology Training Academy. At the end of the 16-week program, graduates will earn certificates in systems engineering and cloud/server maintenance that will open doors to jobs in the tech industry.

Los Angeles is the first city in the country to introduce this type of certificate training program for veterans, based on the highly successful Microsoft Software and Systems Academy.

If you are a veteran interested in a new career, contact: mayor.veterans@lacity.org


Mental Health Services for Veterans

The Veterans Crisis Line. If you are a service member or veteran in crisis or you’re concerned about one, there are specially trained responders ready to help you, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The Veterans Crisis Line connects callers with qualified, caring VA responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat, or text-messaging service. 

  • Dial 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1 to talk to someone.
  • Send a text message to 838255 to connect with a VA responder.
  • Start a confidential online chat session at VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat.

Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health

The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (DMH),  is the largest county-operated mental health department in the United States. Each year, the County contracts with close to 1,000 organizations and individual practitioners to provide a variety of mental health-related services.

  • Los Angeles County Mental Health Help 24/7 hotline: 800-854-7771
  • For Life-Threatening Emergencies, call 9-1-1

Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services

Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services provides free mental health, substance use disorder and suicide prevention services. For more information about Didi Hirsch’s services, please call Centralized Intake at 888-807-7250. Hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 


Additional Resources

Career Development Initiative (CDI). CDI has a full-time presence at Patriotic Hall, and works with the Salvation Army, Jewish Vocational Services, Goodwill, and Volunteers of America to place veterans in careers within high growth sectors. They offer supportive services, free training for specific fields, and assistance with work expenses associated with tools, equipment, and uniforms.

City of Los Angeles Workforce Centers. The City of Los Angeles has 16 WorkSource Centers dedicated to providing resources for veterans to receive free education, training, career counseling and other support services to get a competitive edge in the labor market.

Goodwill Veteran Employment Services. The Goodwill Veteran Employment Program advisors offer skills assessments, one-on-one career counseling, employment preparation courses, educational and technical skills classes, and work tools -- as well as a host of other partner services including shelter and housing assistance, transportation assistance, medical and dental health services, mental health and substance abuse counseling, Veterans Benefits Assistance and more.

Hire Heroes USA. Hire Heroes USA partners with organizations to provide employment workshops and career training opportunities for veterans, and prepares transitioning military members, veterans, and military spouses for their civilian job search. Services for veterans include: resume writing guidance, networking, and interview practice.

Jewish Vocational Services of Los Angeles (JVS). JVS helps all military veterans with a special focus on post-911 veterans. JVS provides professional career coaching, assessments to identify transferable skills, training in high growth career sectors, and job placement assistance. Participants connect with other veterans through the program’s networking groups, workshops, and events. The Veterans First team also provides referrals to maximize veterans’ benefits, services, and training opportunities.