LA vets demand housing at giant VA campus
Los Angeles (CNN) -- The connection seems obvious: nearly 400 acres of land set aside to house veterans and thousands of veterans who need a place to call home.
But Los Angeles' estimated 8,000 homeless vets have been barred from living at the sprawling campus for decades. The West Los Angeles property -- some of the most valuable in the nation -- was donated in 1888 to "establish, construct and permanently maintain" a branch of a national home for veterans, according to the original deed.
And for nearly a century, that's what happened: permanent veterans facilities sprang up, including a post office, a trolley system and housing for as many as 4,000 vets, said American Civil Liberties Union lawyer Mark Rosenbaum.
But "beginning with the Vietnam War era, vets were kicked out," said Rosenbaum, who's leading a class-action suit over the property against the Department of Veterans Affairs.