Why Veteran Homelessness is an issue and how has it been addressed?

By 2020, more than 500,000 people experienced homelessness on any given night, according to the National Alliance for Homeless Endings. That means that out of every 100,000 people there are 17 people without homes. Although there is one group of people who experience a higher than average rate of homelessness, one who has given years of their lives to serve their country, veterans.

Currently, there are 37,252 discharged soldiers experiencing homelessness, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. This means that the veterans make up 8% of the homeless population, while the veterans make up only about 6% of the total U.S. population. These numbers can be difficult to examine. These are men and women, from all backgrounds, who fought and gave years of their lives for their country. To create a better life, but encountered crucial problems that led to poverty.Although the question exists, what is the reason for this statistical anomaly?

What are the reasons for the increase in homelessness among discharged soldiers?

It is difficult to determine the reason for this, as the situation is complex, to say the least. However, there are common causes for old homelessness, most notably PTSD and combat-related injuries. Although contrary to popular belief, there is no research that supports this theory. According to a study by the Department of Veterans Affairs, “In 1991, NEPEC researchers Found The rate of homeless veterans who served in Vietnam and were exposed to battle was the same as that of non-homeless veterans.

If PTSD is not a major cause of increasing homelessness, then what is?

Although the Department of Veterans Affairs has continued to emphasize that the higher rate of PTSD does not appear to play a significant role in the homeless due to “it may be because veterans with these issues have special access to VA services designed to meet their needs.” Instead, the researchers pointed to three reasons for the statistical anomaly; Problematic military releases, low military pay and social isolation after discharge from the military. The latter can be a huge obstacle for veterans dealing with homeless people, as it makes them ineligible for federal benefits.

Has the US done anything to care for the homeless in the last decade?

Although it seems bleak, it should be noted that the nation has made great strides in reducing homelessness among veterans. In fact, the homeless veteran population has been cut in half compared to 2010 when the Obama administration made the issue one of its priorities.

What is being done at the government level?

Government programs and charities made this possible through a housing strategy first. The Obama administration adopted this strategy in 2012. Before discharged soldiers will have to prove they are “ready for housing” through lengthy trials of treatments, but instead treatment and other support services will be wrapped around discharged soldiers as they obtain and maintain permanent housing. According to reports from the test experiment of the first housing initiative showed this

“Which compared the Housing First program, which offers immediate permanent housing without the need to respond to treatment, abstinence or readiness for housing with a first care program for 177 homeless people, found that the Housing First initiative managed to reduce the time for housing placement, from 235 to 35 days; Housing was significantly higher among Housing First tenants, and the use of emergency rooms dropped significantly among Hosing First.

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Though how exactly did non-profit organizations help reduce veteran homelessness by half?

The National Coalition for Discharged SoldiersThe mission statement states that they are “End the homelessness of veterans by designing public policy, promoting cooperation and building the capacity of service providers”. They served as the connecting point of veterans towards legislators, local organizations and necessary resources. According to their website, they have,

“Assisted in developing and increasing funding for specific programs for homeless veterans like A program to integrate discharged soldiers from the homeless And A grant program and a premium program for VA homeless providers, Both are currently funded at the highest levels ever. We helped write and acted to ensure the passage of the Comprehensive Assistance Comprehensive Assistance Act of 2001, which had the potential to provide $ 1 billion to veteran service providers and programs for the homeless. In the current Congress, in addition to various other means, NCHV has been a crucial factor in the creation and passage of the 2016 Veteran Health Services and Benefits Act by Jeff Miller and Richard Blumenthal from 2016. “

Although perhaps one of their and other non – profit organizations’ most restrained tools in this pursuit is to make the claims handling process as easy as possible for veterans. By directing them and assisting in fulfilling the claims, they alleviate the burden on those on the brink of poverty. Because of these organizations building this bridge, the rate of homelessness of veterans has been cut in half in the last decade.

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