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Homelessness: A Major Problem for Veterans Nationwide

This spring, we are sponsoring the VA Vigilante PaddleFit Challenge, a paddle board race event raising money for disabled and homeless veterans in North Carolina. Although a lot of people have heard about the dreadful conditions that veterans are often thrust into upon their return from overseas, there are many who still are not aware of just how big the problem of homelessness is for veterans in the U.S.

Here are a few statistics from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Housing and Urban Development on homelessness among military veterans:

  • Approximately 50,000 veterans are homeless throughout the nation on any given night.
  • Approximately 12,700 veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation New Dawn were homeless as of 2010, and the number of young homeless veterans continues to increase.
  • About 12 percent of the entire homeless adult population is veterans.
  • About 92 percent of all homeless veterans are male.
  • About 40 percent of all homeless veterans are African American or Hispanic, even though they only account for about 10.4 percent and 3.4 percent of all U.S. veterans, respectively.
  • About 10 percent of homeless veterans are between 18 and 30, and about 41 percent are between 31 and 50.
  • 1.4 million other veterans throughout the nation are considered “at risk” for homelessness because of their lack of support networks, poor living conditions and poverty.

There are many reasons why these problems have become so widespread. For one, many veterans lack a livable income and access to decent healthcare, and they are more likely to have lingering physical and mental health conditions they developed during their time in service. There is also a shocking shortage of affordable housing for veterans. They tend to have difficulties finding jobs, as their positions during war may not translate well to civilian roles.

Veterans need more secure housing, better healthcare, better access to mental health counseling, more job training and placement, and more resources to help them avoid homelessness. For more information on how you can help end the problem of veteran homelessness, work with the attorneys at Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban by calling 866-866-VETS or by contacting us online. We have offices in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

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    — Michele DeZayas

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