Forum offers resources for female vets

Photograph by Dennis Anderson

Danny Bazzell, veterans aide to state Sen. Sharon Runner, reads commendation to Navy veteran Lizeth Robertson for presenting at first Women Veterans Forum in Antelope Valley.

State Senator Sharon Runner and Congressman Steve Knight joined forces to host a Women Veteran’s Forum May 21 at the Lancaster Public Library.

Assemblyman Tom Lackey joined representatives from Runner and Knight’s field offices in introducing local and Los Angeles-based veterans service providers to those in attendance.

In addition to familiar names like VA Health Services and CalVet, attendees were introduced to representatives from Antelope Valley programs which have proven their effectiveness in delivering vital services to area veterans in the areas of mental health care, women’s health services and assistance for the homeless or those in danger of becoming homeless.

In addition, state and federal service providers took the opportunity to highlight some of their more specialized assistance programs and addressed concerns that military and veterans often experience in navigating the bureaucracy inherent to these larger organizations.

Following is a directory of the event participants and some of the services they offer:
The offices of Congressman Steve Knight and Senator Sharon Runner have staff available to assist veterans with expediting applications for benefits and assistance at the Federal and state levels. Constituants are invited to contact their field offices for additional information.

U.S. Congressman Steve Knight
Christine Ward, VA Claims Specialist
1008 West Avenue M-14, Suite E
Palmdale, CA 93551
661- 441-0320

CA State Senator Sharon Runner
848 W. Lancaster Blvd., Ste. 101
Lancaster, CA 93534

The California Department of Veteran’s Affairs (CalVet) offers benefits that could compensate veterans for a service-connected disability, college education and health care. They also offer assistance with job training and job search, buying a home, elder care, and much more.

California Department of Veteran’s Affairs (CalVet)
Los Angeles District Office
11000 Wilshire Blvd., Room 5203.
Los Angeles, CA 90024

CalVet Women Veterans Affairs

Veterans of military service who participated in the Antelope Valley’s first Women Veterans Forum organized by Rep. Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, and state Sen. Sharon Runner, R-Lancaster. 

Operation Healthy Homecoming is an outreach of Mental Health America, with offices in Lancaster and Palmdale. The program serves very low-income veterans and their families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Operation Healthy Homecoming offers benefits assistance and personal financial planning, housing counseling and placement, temporary financial assistance and employment assistance.

Mental Health America – Operation Healthy Homecoming
Christina Bautista, Veteran Outreach Coordinator
506 W. Jackman St.
Lancaster, CA 93534
1609 E. Palmdale Blvd. Ste. E
Palmdale, CA 93550

The Antelope Valley Vet Center is a community-based counseling program of the Department of Veterans Affairs. They offer a broad range of services, including readjustment counseling, counseling for PTSD, sexual trauma and bereavement, help for women veterans, referrals for VA benefits and employment referrals.

Antelope Valley Vet Center — Readjustment Counseling Services
Taneil Green-Wood, Readjustment Counselor
38925 Trade Center Dr. Ste. J
Palmdale, CA 93551

The Veterans Crisis Line is a quick, confidential phone resource for veterans who are struggling with suicidal thoughts, destructive thought patterns and substance abuse issues.

Veterans Crisis Line
Confidential chat at or text to 838255

The California Department of Business Oversight has a Veterans Services division that focuses on consumer education regarding mortgages, annuities, payday loans, identity theft and other areas of personal finance. Fraud prevention is emphasized.

California Department of Business Oversight – Veterans Services

The Los Angeles County Bar Association has legal services available to assist veterans in clearing outstanding tickets, warrants and criminal records.

Los Angeles County Bar Association Veterans Legal Service Project

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provides healthcare services, including an outpatient clinic in the Antelope Valley and specialized programs that serve female veterans, veterans in need of mental health services, and former service members who are homeless or in danger of becoming homeless.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System

Lancaster Outpatient Clinic
340 E Avenue I Suite 108
Lancaster, CA 93535

Sepulveda Ambulatory Care Center
16111 Plummer St. Bldg 200
North Hills, CA 91343

West Los Angeles Medical Center
11301 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90073

West Los Angeles Women’s Clinic
310-478-3711, ext. 40285

Comprehensive Homeless Center
Angela K. Russell
11301 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90073
310-478-3711, ext. 48716