California Governor Gavin Newsom faces quite the pushback as the newly revised budget will “initiate the closure” of Veterans Home of California-Barstow (VHCB). The newly revised budget, which is an attempt to alleviate some costs that were taken on during the ongoing pandemic, will also put a “one-year delay for realignment at VHC-Chula Vista and Yountville.”
The new budget, currently at $203 billion, is about 5% less than what they spent last year. This has become a counterpoint that some people have used to push back against the closure of a veterans home that houses around 200 residents. Closing the doors on VHCB could displace the 200 residents leaving them with nowhere to go unless family or friends take them in.
A report also suggested that closure of VHCB could provide California with $14 million per year in savings.
Newsom wants to cut $6.1 billion from California’s budget because they took a major hit as businesses closed up, causing a budget deficit of about $54.3 billion. State revenues dropped dramatically after Newsom issued stay-at-home orders and almost 5 million people were out of work.
The Mayor of Barstow, CA, Julie Hackbarth-McIntyre, is already pushing back. She plans to have the city draft a letter to Newsom explaining why the Barstow Veterans Home is greatly needed.
Mayor Hackbarth-McIntyre also stated, specifically to the Daily Press, that she will encourage cities around hers to write letter in attempt to help the veterans home remain open. She specifically mentioned “the County of San Bernardino and local citizens to do the same.”
On the other hand, the Department of Veteran Affairs appears to think the facility should close. Their reason is because of the location, citing that it is at least 90 minutes away from the nearest VA medical center, has a lack of local nursing programs making it difficult to recruit employees, the area has a low number of veterans, and the home also often has vacancies.