The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH), in collaboration with Los Angeles County’s Department of Military & Veteran Affairs (MVA) and multiple community-based organizations, has announced its fully operational Veteran Peer Access Network (VPAN).
The network begins with the launch of five rally points throughout the County — one in each LA County supervisorial district. Through VPAN and MVA’s veteran service navigators stationed at each rally point, county veterans and military families will be able to navigate and access a variety of services, resources and benefits to support their wellbeing and livelihoods.
A rally point location in the San Fernando Valley can be found at Goodwill Socal in Granada Hills.
“Our county’s implementation of the Veteran Peer Access Network reflects our efforts to create a cohesive system that offers veterans and their families easier and improved access to benefits and support services,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger.
“As a county leader and policymaker, I am committed to supporting programs that help veterans and their families so that they don’t slip through the cracks. No man or woman who has served this nation should exist in the fringes of society due to the government’s inability to help them. We must do everything we can to help veterans meaningfully connect with supportive organizations, and help organizations quickly connect with veterans.”
Los Angeles County is home to the largest military veteran community in the country. VPAN is the first-ever community-driven support network serving veterans and their families, connecting county agencies, LA City Programs, the VA, nonprofits and community-based organizations to provide appropriate services and resources for the unique needs of the military veteran community.
This includes help with obtaining benefits, mental health and substance use disorder services, housing assistance, healthcare access, workforce development and training, financial assistance and legal services.
Each supervisorial district’s Rally Point serves as a “one-stop shop” for veterans and military families to access these resources, as well as a regional hub to dispatch outreach and field-based services throughout each district’s communities.
Led by veterans for veterans, VPAN helps veterans and their families navigate often complicated systems to help them obtain appropriate services, resources and supports. VPAN prioritizes hiring veterans as “battle buddies” and systems navigators to connect their brothers and sisters in need with resources that will help.
VPAN’s services are available to all veteran and military community members, regardless of time-in-service, discharge status, VA disability rating or income.
“I want to thank the veterans, their families, and the military community who, in addition to helping us drive, compel and inform this program, continue to serve our nation,” said LACDMH Director Jonathan Sherin, MD, Ph.D.
“We have to hold veterans dear in our hearts and care for them relentlessly, and VPAN is an example of us doing that. This is an engagement effort and a navigating tool, and a way for us to connect people in need in the military community with services. VPAN serves the military with clear cultural competency and a commitment that we would not get without military veterans on the front lines.
“Those who join this network as peers, that do battle buddy work across the country, exemplify how this platform can provide purpose and belonging for individuals who leave the military,” Sherin said. “That can get lost when reintegrating back into society in civilian life, and we cannot allow that to happen.”
The VPAN Goodwill SoCal is located at 10324 Balboa Blvd., Suite 220, Granada Hills, CA 91344. You can reach them by calling (818) 488-8111, or visiting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Veterans and military families can access VPAN’s services by visiting or contacting one of the Rally Points, calling LACDMH’s Veteran Support Line at (800) 854-7771 ext. 3, or emailing email@example.com.
For more information about VPAN, visit https://dmh.lacounty.gov/veterans.