Last Modified: Saturday, July 21, 2012 6:21 PM
Calcasieu Parish Police Jurors passed a resolution Thursday, asking officials with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to change its lease agreement on the mobile clinic in Lake Charles so veterans can use a building next door to the clinic as a waiting area.
District 5 Police Juror Nic Hunter said the resolution — which was also approved by city of Lake Charles officials — came about because some veterans were forced to wait outside before they could go into the clinic, located at 4250 Fifth Ave.
“We’re talking about people who are elderly veterans, and with the heat right now, it’s an injustice to them,” Hunter said.
The next-door building is owned by Andrew Vanchiere and must be included in the VA’s lease before it can be used as a waiting area. Vanchiere said he has spoken with VA officials over the last 10 days and is waiting on their feedback before moving forward with the process.
“We’re trying to make this workable and comfortable for the people they serve,” he said. “The local VA people have been very engaged. It’s a process that is taking a little bit of time.”
Hunter said the resolution will hopefully speed up the process to allow veterans to wait inside the building.
Hunter said he is not “100 percent satisfied” with the mobile clinic and will not be until a permanent VA clinic is open in Lake Charles.
The panel also approved a contract between the parish and the Family and Youth Counseling Agency to provide life skills training to girls in the juvenile justice system. Bill Summers, assistant director of the Office of Juvenile Justice Services, said the six-week course is an effort to keep the girls out of the juvenile justice system. The training will cost $5,000.