Who are America’s Homeless Veterans?

We can send men to the moon, cameras to capture photos of Mars, and we can find out how to get from Point A to Point B by utilizing billion dollar satellites orbiting the Earth.

Why is it that we have so many homeless among our nation’s veterans?

Statistics from the US Dept. of Veteran’s Affairs indicate about 11% of the US homeless population are vets. The majority are male, live in heavily populated urban areas and many suffer from mental illness, alcohol and/or substance abuse. Almost half are African American or Hispanic. Homeless veterans are younger on average than the total vet population with 50% aged 50 years and younger. The vets are from every major war, but almost half are from the Vietnam era.

About 1.4 million more veterans are considered at risk. Some of the reasons given for the numbers of homeless include the extreme shortage of affordable housing, lack of jobs providing livable incomes and difficulty gaining access to health care. Military occupations and training don’t always transfer to civilian jobs, leaving veterans at a disadvantage.

Efforts through the VA, state and local governments and community resources for the homeless have helped to decrease the number of homeless by 17% over the past year.

The efforts of EMMAUS International help to provide the homeless with more than just a bed. They provide a home, meaningful work and a sense of belonging. EMMAUS International was established in 1971 and is made up of over 300 groups in 36 different countries.

The One Million Project (OMP) is a non-profit which raises money for charity including EMMAUS. OMP is comprised of over 80 writers, artists and media people who have volunteered their creative work to assist in this effort.

Kate McGinn

OMP Admin Note: Kate McGinn is a writer and OMP Network member – one of a group of networkers who will be blogging on a regular basis on various causes and issues. Kate hopes to spread awareness of the issue of American Veterans returning home to less help than they deserve. EMMAUS is one of the two main charities we are supporting.

Kate McGinn’s fiction can be found on Amazon in the flash fiction series BITE SIZE STORIES (Volume Two) along with five other guest writers. Her full length book EXODUS is also available on Amazon.






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