What About the Hardship of Homeless Veterans?
Veterans who served for their country should not be homeless. However, far too many are. The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) and the Obama Administration have a target to end homelessness within the next five years. Various resources already exist to help homeless veterans.
How many military veterans struggle with homelessness?
- An estimated 33% of adult homeless men and close to 25% of all homeless adults have served in the military
- Around 50% of all homeless veterans suffer from mental illness
- Over 66% of homeless veterans have drug or alcohol abuse problems
Help is available. The VA offers homeless veterans support through disability benefits, health care, rehabilitation services and education. For veterans with serious mental health issues, there are organizations that offer placement in community-based programs for quality housing. The VA is the only federal agency that works with a network of homeless assistance programs throughout the United States. The objective is for homeless veterans to become self-supportive and live freely on their own, as much as possible. Close to 75% of homeless veterans surveyed use VA health care services and 55% use VA homeless services.
Veterans crisis line
If you’re a homeless veteran, are at risk for becoming homeless or have a loved one at risk for becoming homeless, immediate help is available. Veteranscrisisline.net provides a chat service that gives veterans clinical assessments, referrals for medical treatment, employment assistance and supported permanent housing. The crisis line is open 24/7 and responders are trained to help you or your family. Dial (1-800-273-8255 and Press 1). All support is confidential.