The Veterans Home of Barstow has fared well during the COVID-19 pandemic, with none of the residents nor the staff contracting the virus.
But a devastating blow came last week, with a letter from the state’s Department of Veterans Affairs announcing the planned closure of the facility because of the massive budget shortfall the state is now facing.
“To make cuts for people who served our country is a disgrace,” said veteran Jess Burnett. “We fought for our country, and we deserve a place that we call home.”
It’s no secret the pandemic has had a devastating effect on the economy.
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a projected $54 billion deficit in the state’s budget next year. Newsom’s budget summary indicated that while closing the facility would only save approximately $400,000 in next year’s budget, the closure would eventually save approximately $14 million annually when implemented.