We will remember Veterans Day this weekend on Sunday. There will most likely be prayers offered in thanksgiving for their service to their country in churches all over the US. But there are other issues at stake here as well. It has been recently reported that almost a quarter of the homeless on America’s streets are former veterans who served to defend her.
A report from the National Alliance to End Homelessness states:
“Far too many veterans are homeless in America. Homeless veterans can be found in every state across the country and live in rural, suburban, and urban communities. Many have lived on the streets for years, while others live on the edge of homelessness, struggling to pay their rent. We analyzed data from the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Census Bureau to examine homelessness and severe housing cost burden among veterans. This report includes the following findings:
- In 2006, approximately 195,827 veterans were homeless on a given night—an increase of 0.8 percent from 194,254 in 2005. More veterans experience homeless over the course of the year. We estimate that 495,400 were homeless in 2006.
- Veterans make up a disproportionate share of homeless people. They represent roughly 26 percent of homeless people, but only 11 percent of the civilian population 18 years and older. This is true despite the fact that veterans are better educated, more likely to be employed, and have a lower poverty rate than the general population.
- A number of states, including Louisiana, California, and Missouri, had high rates of homeless veterans. In addition, the District of Columbia had a high rate of homelessness among veterans with approximately 7.5 percent of veterans experiencing homelessness.
- We estimate that in 2005 approximately 44,000 to 64,000 veterans were chronically homeless (i.e., homeless for long periods or repeatedly and with a disability).”
The report concludes with a call for congress and state legislatures to being to act to find solutions to this issue.
Read the rest here.