Homelessness Surges Among Veterans Of Recent Wars

As more young veterans of the recent wars leave the military, the number of them falling on hard times and homelessness continues to rise sharply. New numbers from the Department of Veterans shows that nearly 50,000 of these veterans were either living in the streets, at risk of losing their homes or relying on federal vouchers for housing needs in 2013.

Editors Note: This should not happen in this country. Our Veterans, families who work 40+ hours a week, and people who have fallen victim to the crooked banks, should take priority over all and any foreign aide. None of these folks should be homeless. This is NOT a political rant and I am not calling for one. This comes down to morals and the American way. We need to take care of our own and it is the people who can make that happen. What can you do? Share this article and let people know that we will support our Heroes! We refuse to support aide sent to foreign countries who hate us. Call your politicians and remind them of who they work for; the People.

Nearly 50,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans were either homeless or in a federal program aimed at keeping them off the streets during 2013, nearly triple the number in 2011, according to numbers released Thursday by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The number among this generation falling on hard times is rising sharply even as homelessness among veterans of all ages and conflicts has been on the decline, according to the VA.

Advocates for the homeless say many of the estimated 2.5 million Americans who served in the two wars went into combat zones on multiple deployments, something many veterans of previous conflicts never had to endure.

“We don’t know what the long-term impacts will be on the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans,” says John Driscoll, president and chief executive officer of the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans.

VA spokeswoman Victoria Dillon also said the number of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans struggling with homeless issues has grown because the department is doing a better job of finding and identifying them and offering assistance.

Earlier this week, the VA announced that it will continue to fund, at a record annual level of $300 million, a program that places a priority on finding immediate shelter for veterans or helping those at risk of homelessness tokeep their homes.

The program began with $60 million 2011 and grew to $300 million in 2013. The department recently announced it was locking in funding at $300 million for each of 2014 and 2015.

The money is in the form of grants to local community groups who target homeless veterans or those at risk of becoming homeless. It provides a range of services to help veterans keep their homes, including mediation with property owners, assistance with rent and utilities, moving expenses, child care and transportation, the VA says.

“We’re thrilled,” Driscoll says of the funding, adding that it is “finally up to scale where it could really start having some major impacts.”

But he adds that consideration should be given to increasing the grants to $500 million annually because the ultimate extent of homelessness among veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars is still unknown.

“We don’t know what the need for services long-term is going to be,” he says.

 

Source: USA Today

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