Unit 8 Assignment: Diminishing Homeless Veterans
Jessica KarupKaplan University
Diminishing Homeless Veterans
In the United States homeless has been an ongoing problem. According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, “as of the last, official count, about 578,424 people experience homelessness on any given night in the United States.” A percentage of those are military veterans who fought for our country. There are many reasons these veterans become homeless. This paper will give an in-depth look at causes, treatment, and programs available to help veterans. The government should be responsible for the soldiers returning home with war-related disabilities which lead many to become homeless.
The men and women who serve our country learn to form bonds because they must depend on one another for survival. I can relate to this with my husband being on his tenth year with the Army. He has been to Afghanistan once. These bonds and relationships are what get most of these soldiers through each day. Once these veterans return home they must face a whole other set of problems. These problems could be as small as reestablishing with their family, finding a job, or even a place to live to much more extreme cases such as how to deal with combat issues such as physical and mental disabilities. According to data from Department of Veterans Affairs office of inspector General, “veterans who became homeless after military separation were younger, enlisted with lower pay grades and were more likely to be diagnosed with mental disorders at the time of separation from active duty.” (2012, pg. 4) The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates about 250,000 veterans are homeless on any given night. (2012, pg.4) Our military is voluntary, and our government should protect and preserve their lives.
As mentioned by Muse in her article, “in 2009 the Obama Administration committed to ending veteran homelessness in the U.S. by the end of 2015.” Even though his administration was not able to reach the goal, there was still a 33 percent decrease in the number of homeless veterans. We have a long way to go to rid veteran homelessness, but the more that are aware of the resources available, the more we can reach out and help.
As previously mentioned there are resources available to homeless veterans and their families. Some of these resources listed on themilitarywallet.com include: Housing and Urban Development (HUD), The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans (NCHV), Salvation Army, United Way Worldwide, and Veterans Affairs (VA). Each one of these organizations helps out in different ways to provide service for these veterans. The HUD helps by supplying emergency, transitional, or permanent housing situations. The NCHV not only helps with housing, but also contributes to help provide food, healthcare, job training, and placement assistance. The salvation army also provides housing. They provide housing in the form of group homes, emergency shelters, and transitional living centers. The VA helps extraordinarily with veterans; however, their funds are limited. They help offer housing assistance, healthcare, and community employment services. With an estimated 500,000 veterans being homeless, the VA reaches only 20 percent of those in need. This where the nonprofit organizations, such as Soldiers’ Angels, come in to play a role to help those the VA can’t reach.
After seeing the facts and knowing help can be given to these veterans, ask yourself “what can I do to help?” One way to fight this epidemic is to get personally involved. You can find a local organization to help volunteer or donate food. When the shelves are stocked, the shelter can contribute helping those in need. As Muse states in her article, “our homeless veterans deserve better than sleeping on the streets.”
Muse, K. (n.d) Help for Homeless Veterans- Organizations, Programs, and Opportunities to
Make a Difference. Retrieved from https://themilitarywallet.com/help-homeless-veterans/www.va.gov/Homeless/for_homeless_veterans.asp