On any given night, approximately 553,742 people in the United States are homeless, according to national data. And around 38,000 of these are veterans. This means that veterans account for approximately 8% of the total homeless population.
This is a sad state of affairs, given that these people have spent a significant portion of their lives serving the country, only to find themselves homeless on the same country's streets.
Men, women, and people of all races and backgrounds are among the homeless veterans who have given their best year to this country. So, why are they homeless during their most vulnerable years?
What Has Caused Veteran Homelessness at This Level?
The short answer to this question is that there is no short answer. There are numerous possible explanations, none of which are simple.
Most people believe that PTSD and combat injuries are the root causes of veteran homelessness. However, while war memories can linger for years, there have been no studies that directly link PTSD to the homeless situation.
However, research shows that veteran homelessness is associated with the same risk factors as low income, substance abuse, and mental disorders.
Researchers have focused their investigation on three primary reasons. These are low military pay grades, problematic military discharges, and post-military social isolation. The military discharge also makes it more difficult for them to obtain federal benefits, contributing to their homelessness.
Has Anybody Tried To Address The Situation?
Technically, yes. During President Obama's tenure, the government attempted to address the growing veteran homelessness. And the government has had some success with its efforts. They were able to reduce homelessness statistics to nearly half of what they were in 2010.
The problem has been addressed to some extent through programs such as "Housing First" and other government initiatives, but it is not fully resolved, and constant effort is required to address it completely or at least sustainably.
Who is Filling the Gap?
There is clearly a growing disparity between government initiatives and the rising number of homeless veterans. However, charitable organizations for veterans are stepping in to fill the void.
We are proud to provide powerful veteran services case management software to help these agencies manage their clients. We believe that those who have served, protecting our country, deserve all the best attention, we can give them, to meet their needs and protect their physical, mental and financial well-being once they come home. This is the "why" behind our veteran services case management software.
If you enjoyed reading this blog, then don't stop here! You can read more about issues and solutions for our veterans on our blog.