VA closes housing program for homeless vets in D.C.
A group of veterans say they're being forced out of their homes and they're not being told why.
A program places local veterans at the McDermott House in D.C.
But now they're being forced out.
Until recently, these vets were homeless. They were sent to McDermott House through a VA program to get them back on their feet. Now they're worried.
They say they learned in a meeting Monday that they have to be out of their rooms by tomorrow to be transferred to a facilty in Southeast, which they fear.
"It's crazy man. We're vets," says one. "We went to war and everything. We volunteered to protect this country and now we're being treated like dogs."
"There's veterans here that have been on the street they're trying to throw down into areas that are not as safe as this area that are drug infested."
Or transferred to Martinsburg, West Virgina. A van load left today for there.
The reason for the shutdown is not clear. A spokesperson at the VA Medical Center told ABC7 the facility was being closed for 90 days for repairs, to address potential health and safety concerns.
But Allen Slater, the resident manager for 13 years, says, "As far as I know there's nothing wrong with the building that would force this kind of eviction, so to speak. Is this unusual? Highly unusual."
And the spokesperson for D.C. Housing, a partner in this project, told ABC7, in a statement: "On Monday D.C. Housing Authority received a telephone call from the VA Medical Center saying that they were terminating the program."
Some of the men have jobs that deduct their rent here from their pay.
And some are refusing to leave.
"You're supposed to be going to Martinsburg, West Virginia," says Rodrick Alston. "No, no....I'm not going."
But the VA has told them the locks are being changed tomorrow.
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